CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 27 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 11.4.2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 27 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 11.4.2020 BLOG 13th April 2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 27 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Saturday 11Th April 2020

March busiest month on record for supermarkets as worried shoppers

spend £10.8bn

Supermarkets had their busiest month on record in March as shoppers rushed to stockpile goods to see them through the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite calls from supermarket bosses and ministers to shop as normal, British consumers spent 20.6 per cent more over the March four weeks compared to the same period last year.

Shelves were stripped bare across the country as the average household spent an extra £62.92 during the past four weeks – equivalent to adding five days’ worth of groceries. The £10.9bn spend made March even busier than Christmas, according to data company Kantar.

Shoppers in London, where the virus is thought to be more widespread than other regions, increased their spending the most, up by 26 per cent during the month.

Shoppers have also built up an extra £199m stockpile of alcohol after a 22 per cent rise in sales.

As the likely scale of Covid-19’s impact became clearer in the second half of the month, Britons quickly increased their grocery shopping.

Over the four days between 16-19 March consumers made 42 million extra trips to supermarkets, Kantar estimates.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Retailers and their staff have been on the frontline as households prepare for an extended stay at home, with grocery sales amounting to £10.9bn during the past four weeks alone – that’s even higher than levels seen at Christmas, the busiest time of year under normal circumstances.”

The figures came as Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, told people to only go to the supermarket once a week for essential purchases.

“People know the rules that have been set, try and shop just once a week,” he told the BBC. “Just do the essentials, not everything else.”

The official coronavirus guidance issued by the government recommends that people’s shopping trips should be “as infrequent as possible”.

Kantar’s data shows that consumers have tended buy supplies more regularly, rather than buying much larger amounts in fewer shopping trips.

The data company forecasts that an extra 503 million meals will have to be prepared and eaten at home every week until restrictions ease due to the closure of pubs and restaurants which came into force on 20 March.


According to data from consultants Nielsen, shoppers made almost 80 million extra trips to supermarkets in the four weeks to 21 March before the government introduced its ‘lockdown’.

As a result, consumers spent an additional £1.9bn on groceries, driving a 20% increase in overall supermarket sales. In the week ending 21 March, sales were up a record 43% according to Nielsen.

Over the four-week period, the data suggests market leader Tesco (TSCO) increased sales by 20.1%, second-placed Sainsbury’s (SBRY) by 22.4%, Morrisons (MRW) by 19.3% and Asda by 17.2%.


Despite scenes of shelves stripped bare, the average shopping basket only increased by one extra item and the average value increased from £15 to £16.

However, this small change in our shopping behaviour has led to ‘a seismic change in overall shopping patterns’ according Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s head of retail insight.

‘As well as increased store visits, consumers opted to shop online – many for the first time. However, unlike stores there is a finite capacity for online grocery shopping, due to warehouse capacity and available delivery slots, and this will have limited the growth of online sales.’

Online retailer Ocado (OCDO) found itself overwhelmed by the surge in demand and had to close its website and its app at one point in order to prioritise existing orders and delivery slots.

Analyst Clive Black at Shore Capital described the pattern of spending as follows: ‘Week one was characterised by a step-up in demand for health and household goods, week two was all about ambient grocery and our love for dried pasta, and week three was an across-the-board purge of the aisles.’

The Nielsen data highlights a more than 80% surge in sales of frozen foods in the week ending 21 March as shoppers who had already filled their cupboards moved on to filling their freezers.

12 Weeks to 31st March 2020

All 10 of the main supermarkets grew in the last 12 weeks to 31st March 2020, according to the Kantar data. German discounters Lidl and Aldi performed strongly, growing by 17.6% and 11% respectively over the last 12 weeks.

At 7.4%, Sainsbury’s was the best performer of the traditional big four supermarkets. Tesco grew by 5.5%, Asda at 4.9% and Morrisons at 4.6%.

Iceland saw its sales up 11.7%, while the Co-op’s convenience stores helped boost its sales by 9.4%. Waitrose saw its fastest growth since November 2013, at 7.5%.

Online-only supermarket Ocado, which was forced to take a days-long time-out as its website struggled to cope with the traffic, attracted 133,000 new customers in the last 12 weeks, with sales growing 12.5%.


Easter Saturday: we should have been traveling back from our Norfolk holiday. Normally on Easter Saturday if we are not away, I find it exciting to go to a big town or city and buy a good book or CD for Easter. And of course Easter Eggs.


Instead I:

  1. Did the ironing (extreme ironing)
  2. Wrote, and wrote and wrote
  3. Listened to Tony Blackburn’s Sounds of the Sixties
  4. Had a cup of tea and biscuits sitting in the sun with Mamma watching the tree in our garden burst into beautiful pink blossom. We wouldn’t have done that if we were not in self-isolation!
  5. Listened to the blackbird singing melodiously

(I realised even nature has taken to technology in these troubled times. We’ve always had a Blackbird singing in our garden ever since we bought the house 44 years ago. Every single one of them has sat on the vantage point on the top of the huge tree at the bottom of the garden looking out on the field beyond. Except the latest technology generation. He chooses to sit on the TV aerial of our neighbours, house.)

  1. A beautiful poached salmon tea
  2. We then had a glass of wine unusual for us as we do not normally drink wine or alcohol
  3. Then we took the Daily Mail’s advice “There may be no holidays this Easter, but Britain’s Got Talent is back – and Simon and the gang say it’s just the ticket to get the country giggling as one”. And watched Britain’s Got Talent. Yes, due to self-isolation we have now sunk that low.

Thus the desperate need for wine. Although we did enjoy a magician and his family.

  1. …And so to bed






Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times…


Happiness is…a fully stocked supermarket


Energizer bunny arrested; charged with battery.


Love is…taking our coffee break together



DAY 7        17 Times – 153 Feet   Cumulative Total 981 Feet




  1. Dangerous Roxette 3:49


Country                 Confirmed cases  Deaths

1              US                          557,590                 22,109

2              Italy                      156,363                 19,899

3              Spain                     166,831                 17,209

4              France                   133,666                 14,412

5              UK                         85,079                   10,629

6              Iran                       71,686                   4,474

7              Belgium                29,647                   3,600

8              China                    82,086                   3,339

9              Germany              127,854                 3,022

10           Netherlands         25,746                   2,747


Global cases         Updated 13 Apr at 10:07 local

Confirmed            1,850,220              +165,387

Deaths                   114,215                 +12,079

Recovered             430,455                 +54,956


UK Deaths yesterday: 737


©2020 Phil M Robinson