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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 is now less than a month away and, while many supermarkets have already run out of available Christmas delivery slots, you may still be able to get your shopping delivered for the big day.

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 few weeks have seen Ocado shoppers complaining about missing out on Christmas delivery slots despite paying for a Smart Pass, and Tesco Delivery Pass customers also finding they couldn’t get priority delivery slots when they opened for booking on 16 November.

Here, we explain the dates and process for getting a Christmas supermarket food-delivery slot with each supermarket. 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. Slots for 19 to 23 December are available to book online now (Aldi.co.uk).

You can browse its Christmas product range and add all of the items you need. Items can be added until 11.50pm on 15 December to finalise any Food to Order items – after this time, you’ll only be able to remove or reduce the number of these products in your order. Food to Order items include a range of festive main, sides and dessert dishes – they’re highlighted with a blue banner online, which indicates when the product is available to collect from.

You’ll then have until 11.50pm on the night before your collection day to amend the non-Food to Order products on your list.

Aldi’s Christmas hampers (Aldi.co.uk/hampers) are also 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 opened its Christmas delivery slots for all customers.

Customers with an Asda Delivery Pass had priority access to delivery slots. 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.

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.

Its Christmas range is now live on its website (Co-op.co.uk), but currently only for same-day delivery or click-and-collect.

Iceland

Iceland’s Christmas deliveries (Iceland.co.uk) will take place between 11 and 17 December this year. The supermarket has 600,000 delivery slots, and it’s guaranteeing a Christmas turkey to 150,000 customers who signed up via its online reservation form and selected their online delivery slot by Monday 22 November.

If you did this, you’ll be invited to complete your order online six days before it’s due, where you can add the reserved turkey to the rest of your Christmas essentials.

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

Marks and Spencer

The M&S ‘Christmas Food to Order’ service at MarksAndSpencer.com is now fully booked – but you can still find festive food stocked in its food halls.

If you’ve already booked the service, you’ll need to collect your pre-ordered shop in-store between 22 and 24 December.

It’s available in most M&S stores in England, Scotland and Wales, and is free of charge.

However, to secure your collection slot you’ll need to have added 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 and doesn’t cover things like 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) Christmas delivery slots have opened for all customers. As with all supermarkets, demand has been high – but the supermarket has been advising customers on Twitter to look out for further delivery slot availability information via email and on its website.

Morrisons has also 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.

Those with a Morrisons Delivery Pass had priority for booking festive delivery slots. The 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) started offering Christmas food-delivery slots to loyal customers at the beginning of October.

Smart Pass holders got priority access to Christmas delivery slots. This was staggered to try to deal with demand; the supermarket contacted customers via email or text message to let them know when they could book a slot. Delivery slots were offered to non-Smart Pass customers after that.

With most of its Christmas delivery slots now fully booked, Ocado is currently telling customers to keep checking the website to see if any more delivery dates become available – this will be signalled by a star button appearing next to the ‘Book a delivery’ tab. Whether you’re lucky enough to snap one up will depend on the demand in your area, and whether any customers cancel the slots they’ve booked.

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, 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 a hefty £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

All Sainsbury’s customers can now book their Christmas delivery slots.

The slots for Delivery Pass customers were opened gradually, in this order:

  • Slots for 20 December available from 23 November;
  • Slots for 21 December available from 24 November;
  • Slots for 22 December available from 25 November;
  • Slots for 23 December available from 26 November.

Delivery slots for those without a Delivery Pass work like this:

  • Slots for 20 December available from 30 November;
  • Slots for 21 December available from 1 December;
  • Slots for 22 December available from 2 December;
  • Slots for 23 December available from 3 December.

Shoppers can book delivery slots from the Sainsbury’s groceries online site. You’re only allowed to place one order to arrive between 20-23 December.

In an email to customers, Sainsbury’s CEO said the supermarket is offering more home grocery delivery slots and more click-and-collect slots than ever.

A Sainsbury’s Delivery Pass 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 £4 if you spend less.


Tesco

Christmas delivery slots for Tesco’s Delivery Saver scheme customers opened on 16 November, while slots for non-Delivery Saver customers opened on 23 November. Slots are available for the whole of the Christmas period.

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 has already released its Christmas delivery slots, which fall between 20 and 24 December.

Due to high demand, anyone who hasn’t booked yet is advised to keep checking in case of any cancellations. If you’re not able to bag a delivery slot, 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 must have placed 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: 2 December.

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