Thursday 16 August 2018

Fresh food shortage while motorists face wait on fuel

A stranded passenger tries to sleep it off in Dublin Airport
A stranded passenger tries to sleep it off in Dublin Airport

Ryan Nugent

Fresh food stocks are unlikely to make it to Irish supermarkets until the weekend at the earliest - with delivery drivers not taking to the road until the red weather alert is downgraded.

The country's largest supermarkets are hopeful of re-opening their doors late this afternoon or in the early evening.

However, this depends on the red alert being lifted.

A spokeswoman for Tesco Ireland said contingency plans earlier this week mean they will have enough stock to cater for customers when they reopen.

"Our drivers don't make deliveries during red weather alerts and so the earliest we expect to restart stock deliveries is Friday afternoon, weather permitting," she said.

"We are confident that we will have good stock levels when we reopen, and in the 24 hours immediately after we aim to make multiple deliveries to stores as we get back up and running as quickly as possible," she added.

An Aldi spokesperson said it had received deliveries of fresh products on Thursday morning.

However, its stores closed at 1pm yesterday.

"All of our 130 stores will reopen at 5pm Friday," the spokesperson said.

"We are monitoring the situation closely and if there are any changes we will communicate this on Friday morning."

Both SuperValu and Centra say they will reopen their stores when it is safe to do so, but haven't given a specific time as of yet.

Fuel availability is also expected to be affected by the storm, with Topaz Ireland saying high demand in certain fuel stations meaning availability could be affected.

"Due to safety concerns caused by the severe weather conditions, the majority of planned fuel deliveries for Thursday have been suspended temporarily," a spokesperson said.

"This may impact the availability of fuel at certain Topaz sites, particularly those that have experienced exceptionally high demand in the lead-up to Thursday."

Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, top of the list for purchases during this week's weather chaos was bread.

Brennans sliced pan, two- litre milk bottles, eggs, firelighters and wine were the top five buys over the past few days.

BWG Foods - the supplier for more than 1,000 convenience stores, including Spar, Londis and Mace - said they expected more than €1m in transactions yesterday as consumers picked up some last-minute items to get them through the country's shutdown.

Irish Independent

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