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Rise of e-commerce puts paid to Tesco 24 hour opening plans

03 February 2016 - 16:49 by Mike Price

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The popularity of safe shopping online is such that supermarket giant, Tesco, is ending 24 hour opening at 76 of its stores nationwide, according to Tamebay.

While the stores themselves will still operate as usual, they will no longer be open throughout the night and will, instead, shut up shop at midnight, before opening again the next morning at 6am.

The end of 24 hour shopping at some of Tesco’s most prominent locations will come into effect by mid-April, although some stores will be rolling out the changes in March.

Tesco spokesperson, Tony Hoggett, said that the increasing number of people choosing to buy their groceries online has meant that late night visitors to its stores have been uncommon in recent years.

Of course, there will still be over 300 Tesco stores across the UK which retain 24 hour opening after this initial cull, so not every area will be impacted by this. And given Hoggett’s statement, it seems unlikely that many people will even notice the difference.

Observers have pointed out that even the 24 hour opening times offered by Tesco do not take Sunday evenings into account and there are many other retailers which offer bricks and mortar outlets with better off-peak access.

What is seen as significant is the fact that Tesco has openly identified e-commerce as being a big motivating factor behind this decision. This could, ultimately, lead to others following suit and opening hours becoming more limited across the board.

Shopping habits have shifted to the extent that people purchase groceries in smaller amounts on a more regular basis from local stores, rather than visiting full supermarkets. So perhaps the end of 24 hour opening is inevitable, especially with online retailers trialling same day delivery.