Shoppers face 'click-and-collect chaos' at Christmas

Tesco and Sainsbury's warn customers to act fast – but John Lewis extends deadline for festive shopping

(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Shoppers face "click-and-collect chaos" this Christmas as retailers have been facing overwhelming demand for the service, says the Daily Telegraph.

Record demand means stores around the country are running out of click-and-collect order slots. "Millions of shoppers will now have to order presents and groceries online by Thursday, or be forced to fight their way through store aisles on Friday and Saturday when they are at their busiest," the paper adds.

Sainsbury's has warned that nearly all its click-and-collect slots on Friday and virtually all its home delivery appointments this week are sold out.

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"Our delivery options go live on December 2 and many shoppers prefer to book them up in advance," said a spokesman.

"We have a handful of slots left and these will be in pockets in various stores."

Tesco said its last day for ordering click-and-collect items guaranteed for arrival by 25 December was Thursday but it had a "very limited" number of time-slots left over the next two days.

Retail experts said customers may now face queues to pick up their shopping, despite choosing to order online in a bid to avoid delays.

Henrik Moos, the founder of retail collection firm SwipBox, said: "Many retailers have been overwhelmed by the extra demand this year."

However, John Lewis has announced it will be extending its deadline.

A spokesman said: "We are pleased to confirm that we will extend the ordering cut-off date to 8pm on 23rd December for pre-Christmas collection in all John Lewis shops.

"The cut-off date for ordering to collect at Waitrose shops remains the 22nd December, in line with previous years."

According to The Guardian, an estimated ten million people are set to hit the shops on "frenzied Friday" - 23 December.

"The Centre for Retail Research has calculated that shopping is set to peak on the Friday before Christmas - the day when many will receive their December pay cheque," adds the newspaper. "It estimates that shoppers will spend £894m – or £865,158 a minute – on food, drink and gifts that day."

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