Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Aldi: Best time to shop at supermarket to avoid long queues

Tesco outline their latest shopping measures ahead of lockdown

Supermarkets have many safety rules in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus including limiting the number of shoppers in-store and asking customers to shop with a one person per household limit in mind. This can cause queues to build up at food stores but there are quieter times throughout the week where shoppers will not have to queue.


Like many retailers, Tesco is asking shoppers to abide by their one person per household rule.

Their website states: “We’re asking that only one person from each household comes in-store to do their shopping.

“This is to reduce the number of people in-store at any one time and help maintain social distancing measures.”

Popular times to shop in-store according to Google data tends to be on the weekend where the flow of customers is steady throughout the day.

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Midday during the week also seems to be busy which means queues might be likely.

If customers are looking for a quieter shop, the first couple of hours after opening and the last couple of hours before closing tend to be the best time to shop.


Asda has many rules in place and they are limiting the numbers of customers in-store at any one time.

This means at peak times, there could be queues outside.

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To avoid the busier periods, Google data says that midweek is typically the quietest as well as the start of the week on a Monday morning.

Similarly to Tesco, the earlier shoppers pick up essentials, the less busy stores will be.

Evenings also tend to be quiet too with lunchtime being the peak period.

Saturday and Sunday have a steady flow of customers throughout the whole day.


Sainsbury’s is also asking customers to send one person per household into stores.

Their website states: “Where possible, we ask that you only send one adult per household when you shop with us.

“This will help us manage the number of people in our stores and make your shop quicker and smoother.”

However, at busier times, queues could still build up outside.

The quietest time to shop at Sainsbury’s according to Google data is typically on a Monday and Tuesday.

The stores tend to be busier towards the end of the week with Saturday being the busiest day to shop during the week.


At the start of the first lockdown, Aldi released a chart to help shoppers know when they should do their shop.

The discount retailer’s chart shows that the quietest period is in the evening from 7pm onwards until closure.

The busiest time tends to be in the middle of the day where queues will be likely.

To help manage the number of customers in-store, Aldi has a traffic light system which indicates when customers can enter the store and when they must queue outside.

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