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Tesco warns empty shelves will be ’10 times worse’ by Christmas as shoppers panic buy

Tesco bosses last night warned the UK’s empty shelves will be “10 times worse” by Christmas as shoppers are expected to panic buy items amid the nation’s impending meat shortage.

They called on the Government to immediately address the shortage of HGV drivers to avoid a food crisis.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday claimed he wasn’t worried about panic buying, saying: “I don’t think that will happen.”

But Andrew Woolfenden, the store’s distribution chief, told ITV News: “Our concern is the pictures of empty shelves will get 10 times worse by Christmas, and then we’ll get ­panic-buying.”



Stores could be left without meat in a matter of days
Stores could be left without meat in a matter of days

Tesco has been offering new recruits bonuses of £1,000 since July, but said that it has only managed to attract as many drivers as it has lost to rival businesses over the summer.

Mr Woolfenden said the problem was industry-wide and described attempts to recruit from a limited pool of drivers as like “moving deckchairs around”.

The Cabinet Office has established a taskforce.



Store bosses fear people will panic buy
Store bosses fear people will panic buy

The government said: “We are taking steps, including streamlining the process for new HGV drivers and increasing the number of driving tests.

“We are also monitoring labour supply and working with sector leaders to understand how we can ease pinch points.”

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Tesco warns empty shelves will be '10 times worse' by Christmas as shoppers panic buy
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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