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Dedicated shopping for vulnerable people worked for me | Letters | World news


I am sorry for the people who did not have such a positive experience as I did today (Sainsbury’s dedicated shopping hour for vulnerable people ‘chaotic and crowded’, 19 March). This emergency scheme worked brilliantly for me at 8am at the Fallowfield Manchester store. A young manager explained how it would work, before opening the doors, saying the shelves were freshly stocked, but we were limited to two of any item. He remained by the entrance/exit throughout the hour, turning a few people away. I left at 8.30, with enough fresh food for me and my husband for a week or more. Perhaps the problems at other stores are partly due to selfish behaviour and a sense of entitlement, which in my experience can be worse in affluent areas.
Susan Treagus
Manchester

Regarding your front-page photo of a deserted Trafalgar Square (Front page of print edition, 19 March), I’ve just returned from my local Sainsbury’s vulnerable persons shopping hour, where hundreds of the frail and elderly, including me, were packed closely together chatting in checkout queues. Wouldn’t it be safer if it were the other way around?
Sylvia Markham
Barrowby, Lincolnshire

I am a frontline retail worker and am very grateful that the assaults on retail workers (offences) bill has been introduced in the Commons. All MPs and peers should unite to get this into law asap. Staff have heavy legal responsibilities and need the law’s protection. The situation is all the more intense in light of coronavirus and more intense trading. Finally, in light of school closures, the children of key workers will still be allowed to attend school. It is imperative that retail and distribution workers are classified as key workers. After all, food is an obvious essential.
John Barstow
Member, Usdaw executive council



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