Retail’s supply chain crisis has left over one in six Brits unable to buy essential food items at some point during the past two weeks.
According to a recent survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 18 per cent of shoppers said they were unable to find essential foods they needed, while a quarter of respondents said they were unable to buy other non-essential food items.
A further 40 per cent of respondents said they thought there was less variety in shops than usual, while 20 per cent said items, they needed were not available.
According to Tesco’s chairman John Allan, the ongoing driver shortage will soon mean not only empty shelves but higher prices.
Allan told ITV over the weekend that “we’re probably looking at, for food overall…, mid-single digit increases which is much higher than we’ve had in recent years”.
It comes as the government backtracked on its refusal to issue emergency visas to foreign lorry drivers to tackle the shortage, announcing on Saturday night that 5000 HGV drivers will be added to the visa scheme until Christmas.
The plans have been dubbed ‘too little, too late’ by many industry insiders including the British Retail Consortium’s Andrew Opie, who said the 5000 limit would “do little to alleviate the current shortfall”, which is thought to be around 100,000 drivers.
According to a separate poll from The Observer, 67 per cent of voters believe the government has handled the crisis badly, including 59 per cent of conservative voters.