Asda launches ‘virtual queuing’ system as it prepares for social distancing to last “for the rest of the year”

Asda is trialling a “virtual queuing” initiative as it prepares for social distancing measures to last well after lockdown has ended.

The grocer’s new virtual system, the first of its kind in the UK, will allow users to book a place and log into a virtual queue with their phones.

They will then be able to wait in their car, avoiding the extended queues which have become commonplace across UK supermarket carparks, and be alerted when they are allowed to enter the store.

The new system has been trialled at Asda’s store in Middleton, near Leeds, and is expected to be rolled out across its wider estate in the coming weeks.

READ MORE: Asda given sales sales boost from lockdown but profits dip

It comes as Asda prepares to implement longer term measures as the UK’s lockdown eases.

Roger Burnley, Asda’s chief executive, says that he expects “social distancing measures will still last for the rest of the year.

“It has become increasingly clear that Covid-19 is set to be part of our lives for months to come.

“With two thirds of customers still concerned around safety in supermarkets, Asda is investing in more longer-term measures to support social distancing in its stores.”

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28 Comments. Leave new

  • That is a good idea as sometimes when you go into asda …its impossible to be 2 meters away from others…so they can also check how offen people are going shopping

  • When will asda go back to opening 24 hours

  • Julie Newsome
    May 21, 2020 3:40 am

    I was there yesterday at Middleton asda I wasnt aware they were doing that

  • What about for those who don’t have a phone/smartphone? 🤔

    • You will be able to join a very much shorter queue, which benefits you, and I’m sure you will be filtered in amongst the drivers, as they are appropriate vex entry in order of arrival….in conjunction with the ordinary queue.

    • Then you will just queue in the same way as always, this is just an option. Eg I’m a pensioner with a painful back problem, so can’t queue, as it’s too painful to stand. This way I can register my arrival on line, then queue in my car, till I get a text telling me that it’s now my turn. The queue for you will be much shorter, as lots of people will wait in their cars till told they can doesn’t give them any priorities over you, it’s simply 2 queues working side by side, then filtering in together, ie the human queue filters in with the online queue, but will still effectively let us in, virtually in order, as if we all stood in the same queue.

  • Nicola Mackenzie
    May 21, 2020 5:48 am

    As much as this is a brilliant idea. Could somebody explain why two of our local large Asda stores removed queuing within days of Boris’s last statement. Free for all no social distancing stores full.. sorry Asda as with a lot of locals we won’t be back for the time being..
    At what point did you hear….lockdown OVER??

    • This new system doesn’t remove social distancing…far from it.
      Every option helps some but not all. I haven’t been able to use Asda since lockdown started, as I can’t stand in queues, due to being a pensioner with a very painful back condition, but this will finally let me use Asda again, as I can wait in the car, and take my turn in the usual way, other than I wait in the car, rather than stand in pain.

  • Harjit Bhathal
    May 21, 2020 6:10 am

    I think this is a wonderful idea. At least time will not be wasted queuing especially in winter and will enable social distancing too.

  • What if you don’t have a car and go to Asda on foot? Also not everyone has a smart phone. Will these groups of people be disenfranchised?

    • Then you stick to the original queuing system- but in a very much shorter queue, as many others will be waiting on n the car.but this doesn’t inconvenience you in any way- we are all still queuing, but in different ways. I can’t stand as I’m a pensioner with a serious back problem, so haven’t been to Asda since lockdown as I can’t do queuing. Now I can go back to Asda, and simply wait in the car, till I’m told by text, that it is my turn to enter.

  • Maria Mooney
    May 21, 2020 8:50 am

    What about ppl who dont own a smartphone or car? What about elderly n mums with kids?

    • Then you stick to the standard queuing. As a pensioner with a back problem, I can’t stand very long so sadly I can’t do queuing, but this will allow me to register my arrival, then wait in my car till I get a text telling me that it is now my turn. Neither option gets any preferential treatment, we are all still queuing, even though some will be sat in the car, but at least I will now be able to shop in Asda , instead of my local corner shop at higher prices, as I will no longer have to stand for possibly half an hour or more.

    • This is much better for the elderly, as if they can come by car, they won’t have to stand waiting any more.I’m a pensioner with a painful back condition, so I can’t stand more than a minute or two, so I can’t queue.
      But this way, I can announce my arrival via my phone, but then sit and wait in the car, till I get a text telling me it is now my turn. So there is effectively 2 queueing systems, running side by side one – in the actual queue, and the other waiting in cars. But we are registered by order of arrival, and invited in, in order, filtered with the actual queue.i haven’t been able to use Asda since lockdown, as I simply can’t queue, but now I can. And those who queue, will be in a very much shorter queue , so whenever it rains you won’t be exposed to it for very long.

  • Yes that’s fine, but there are a lot with no car, no phone. Other supermarkets are managing quite well with the things in place now, why change.

    • I think they are now catering for a wider reach of people. I haven t used Asda since lockdown, as due to being a pensioner, with a painful back condition, I can’t stand for very long, so I can’t queue, but with this new development, you can still queue, and I will also queue, but waiting in my car. I will announce my arrival on line, and then I will “virtually “ queue, but in my car, until I receive a text telling me it is now my turn. Car queuers are still waiting their turn, just like actual queuers, so no one is disadvantaged in any way.
      This is completely fair, and shortens the actual queue, but no one gets priority treatment, so is a very good process

  • I don’t drive but thankfully own a smartphone but will car drivers have priority. The current system is fine

  • Jacinta Harris
    May 21, 2020 11:05 am

    I don’t drive don’t have a smart phone am at asda tomorrow is it just normal queueing still

  • Christine Shepherd
    May 21, 2020 11:47 am

    What if u dont have a smart phone and neither drive or have a cardio you still have the slots for pensioners but also why is the time slot slot so early for pensioners .8 till 9 not all of us can make those times

    • I agree with you about the time slot. As an OAP I couldn’t get there for that time, so Asda have lost my business since we went into lockdown.

  • Does the app mean you can start queuing before you leave home

  • To me this is a virtual waste of money if this week is anything to go by, Lots of people have gone back to work this week and there has been NO queue all week at Peterlee Asda , Security was still on door . Over the last 8 weeks the queues have been massive! Even more people will go back next week, But good luck with it.

  • Leslie Eldin
    May 31, 2020 8:17 am

    I thought Asda was getting better not worse. I have only waited to enter our store twice, so why change things now? It sounds like Asda are going backwards or is this a way of saying dont come to our store, because of the covid 19?

  • Margaret Sharp
    June 4, 2020 2:51 pm

    I don’t drive?, I walk across – what do people like myself do?

  • Anne Mcintyre
    June 8, 2020 12:55 pm

    What happens if you don’t have a mobile phone?


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