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Supermarkets launch Christmas delivery slots: when can you book yours?

Demand for online festive food shopping is set to be high this year

Supermarkets launch Christmas delivery slots: when can you book yours?

Christmas might still be several weeks away, but some supermarkets (including Ocado and Waitrose) have already started opening their Christmas delivery slots – and others are coming soon.

Demand for supermarket deliveries over the festive season is likely to be high this year, due to a combination of the rise of online shopping since the pandemic and rumours of food shortages that could see shoppers struggling to get hold of a Christmas turkey.

The past couple of weeks have already seen several Ocado shoppers take to Twitter to complain about missing out on Christmas delivery slots, despite paying for a Smart Pass that gives priority on deliveries, and Morrisons releasing details of a new collection service.

Here, we reveal how to get a supermarket food-delivery slot in time for your Christmas dinner. Not all the supermarkets have released their slots yet, but we’ll keep this story updated as we learn more.

Scroll down to read the full story, or jump straight to your favourite supermarket using the following links:

Aldi

While Aldi doesn’t offer a grocery delivery service, it does offer click and collect at some stores. However, it has yet to reveal when its Christmas slots will be bookable.

Its Christmas hampers (Aldi.co.uk/hampers), meanwhile, are available to pre-order now for delivery before Christmas. They will start being sent out from 28 November, and you’ll be given a tracking number so you’ll know when yours will arrive.

For in-store shopping, Aldi’s Christmas calendar shows when items are due to be available in shops. While mince pies have been available since 26 September, you’ll have to wait until 19 December for its Christmas turkeys.

Asda

Asda (Asda.com) has now confirmed its Christmas delivery slots. Customers with an Asda Delivery Pass get priority access and can book now. This pass costs from £6 a month and you can use it when you spend at least £40. You can also use it on next-day deliveries.

For everyone else, Christmas delivery slot bookings will open on Thursday 28 October.

Co-op

Last year, the Co-op allowed shoppers to place their Christmas orders five to seven days ahead of the delivery date. It hasn’t announced when this year’s Christmas delivery slots will be available.

As its website (Co-op.co.uk) is currently advising customers to come back in December to view its Christmas food range, it seems unlikely that any Christmas delivery slots will be available before then.

Iceland

Iceland’s Christmas deliveries (Iceland.co.uk) won’t work any differently from standard deliveries throughout the year.

There’s a £40 minimum spend, no delivery charges, and two-hour delivery slots will be made available up to six days in advance.

This fits in with what the supermarket has done in previous years, where no special arrangements have been made for Christmas food deliveries.

Marks and Spencer

M&S is offering a ‘Christmas Food to Order’ service at MarksAndSpencer.com, where shoppers can pre-order their Christmas food and book an in-store collection for between 22 and 24 December.

Slots are already open to book, and the service is available in most M&S stores in England, Scotland and Wales.

The service is free of charge, however to secure your collection slot you’ll need to add items to your basket worth at least £40 – and pay this as a non-refundable deposit. If the items in your basket come to more than £40, you’ll pay the remaining balance when you collect your delivery in store.

As M&S doesn’t sell its full range of food online, the selection is limited to special Christmas products, so you won’t be able to pre-order plain spuds or sprouts.

Unless otherwise specified, M&S says all the items in its Christmas Food to Order shops will be fresh until at least Boxing Day.


Morrisons

Morrisons (Morrisons.com) has released details of a new service for Christmas collections. Available to book now online or at one of the 464 participating Morrisons stores, the service allows you to book a collection slot between 21-24 December for its Christmas food range.

This collection includes 134 items, such as turkeys, party food, wine and desserts, with vegan and gluten-free options.

You’ll need to pay a £20 deposit now, with a £20 minimum spend. You’ll pay the balance on anything extra on collection.

When it comes to home deliveries, though, Morrisons is remaining tight-lipped for now, saying only that information will be announced ‘in due course’.

It’s likely that those with a Morrisons Delivery Pass will get priority when booking festive delivery slots.

The Delivery Pass costs from £5 a month, which covers unlimited deliveries (even in peak times) as long as you spend at least £40.

Ocado

Getting a head start on many other supermarkets, Ocado (Ocado.com) has already started offering Christmas food-delivery slots to loyal customers.

Those who had signed up to Ocado’s Smart Pass membership by 26 September get priority access to Christmas delivery slots.

However, this access is being staggered to try to deal with demand; the supermarket is contacting customers via email or text message to let them know when they’re able to book a slot.

Delivery slots will be offered to non-Smart Pass customers next. Star buttons will appear next to the ‘Book a delivery’ tab on Ocado’s website to let you know you’re able to book.

Shoppers who use Ocado Reserved – the free service that automatically books your preferred delivery slot each week or fortnight – will not automatically be given their usual delivery slot between 20 and 27 December, and will need to book it themselves.

Once you’ve booked your slot, the cut-off time to confirm your order is two days before your delivery, at 11.30pm. You should receive an email/SMS message to remind you about this. You’ll also need to spend £90 minimum for your order.

In its online FAQs, Ocado says that any food you order for Christmas will be guaranteed to last until Christmas Day.

This should hopefully put your mind at ease – especially as we’ve recently found that some supermarkets are delivering past-it products.

Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s Christmas delivery slots aren’t available to book yet, and the supermarket hasn’t announced when they’ll be released.

It told us shoppers should keep checking the Sainsbury’s groceries online site, as more details will be coming soon.

Similarly to other supermarkets, you can get priority booking if you buy a Sainsbury’s Delivery Pass, which costs from £10 for three months.

The pass enables you to see slots in advance and get priority at busy times, and includes up to one free delivery a day to be received within a one-hour time slot of your choice.

Sainsbury’s click-and-collect service is also available; collection is free if you spend at least £40, or will cost £4 if you spend less.


Tesco

Tesco shoppers can rest assured that no Christmas delivery slots have been filled yet.

Those signed up to Tesco’s Delivery Saver scheme can book their slots from 6am on 16 November, while slots for non-Delivery Saver customers will be available from 6am on 23 November. If you click on the date that applies to you at Tesco.com, it will add a handy reminder in your calendar.

It costs £6.99 a month to become a Delivery Saver; you can book delivery slots up to four weeks in advance, get free delivery and collection (if you spend at least £40 on deliveries and £25 for click and collect), collect Clubcard points, and get priority slots at Christmas and Easter.

Alternatively, you can book a click-and-collect slot, but these are only available up to three weeks in advance.

Waitrose

Waitrose & Partners says some of its Christmas delivery slots (which fall between 20 and 24 December) have already been released to a small number of online customers.

The remaining delivery slots will be made available to all customers soon, but we’re yet to find out when that will be.

Demand is expected to be high, but if you’re not able to bag one of these slots, there are some alternatives.

Those who opt for the ‘Waitrose Christmas Entertaining Collection’ (details at Waitrose.com) will be able to access different delivery slots from those available to general grocery shoppers. Items available through this service include pre-prepared buffet dishes, canapes, desserts and the all-important Christmas turkey. You’ll need to place your order by 15 December.

The minimum spend is £40, with a £3 delivery fee.

Alternatively, you could use the supermarket’s click-and-collect service if it’s offered in your local branch, or try to secure a slightly earlier delivery date – slots up to 19 December will be released as usual, up to three weeks beforehand.

This story was originally published on 7 October 2021 and has since been updated to add more information. Last update: 26 October.

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