Stores are running out of Christmas delivery slots – here's our top tips to booking yours

Stores are running out of Christmas delivery slots – here's our top tips to booking yours

November 21, 2021

IT is not just key groceries running low in the supermarkets – festive delivery slots are also in short supply.

This week, Tesco shoppers who paid for early access to book them were left waiting for hours, only to find them booked up.

One customer said it was “like getting tickets for Glastonbury”.

Ocado also ran out last month after it opened up slots to priority customers.

Demand is higher than ever because millions more now shop online as a result of the pandemic, and fears of shortages are encouraging early ordering.

Sun Money checked out Christmas week slots at the major supermarkets this week in London, Bristol and Manchester.

Morrisons and Waitrose barely had any left when we checked this week for a South London address.

Asda was booked out on Christmas Eve but had availability on other days.

Sainsbury’s opens its bookings on November 30, and online queues are predicted.

We told on Wednesday how a Tesco shopper who tried to order a Christmas delivery was stunned to be advised he was number 182,220 in the queue.

Paul Wood, 45, an IT worker, from Northampton, who was shopping for himself, his wife and child, said: “It was ridiculous. I started waiting at 6.10am and thought, given how early it was, I would get a slot pretty soon.

“It showed my position in the queue was 182,220. It felt like trying to buy tickets for Glastonbury.

“I got in at 7.40am. But then December 23, 24 and 26 had gone. So we settled for Wednesday 22. I checked again soon after and even that day is gone now.”

He added: “We pay for the premium service so get access to slots a week before other customers. Surely there won’t be any left for them by next week, unless they are holding some back.”

On this page, we give our verdict on each store — and a rating of good, low or zero for slot availability.

Warming winter offer

GET up to £200 off a new boiler so you will be cosy this Christmas.

BOXT is offering the Black Friday discount on selected boilers including ones from Worcester Bosch, Ideal and BAXI.

Get next-day installation if ordered by 4pm.

It’s a fixed price, with zero per cent credit available.

Runs from this Tuesday to Monday, November 29. See


BOOKING for Delivery Saver subscribers paying £7.99 a month opened on Tuesday but demand led to waits of several hours.

Slots for non-subscribers open at 6am this coming Tuesday, so you can expect a similar rush.

When we tried to book as subscribers the page was down – and when we finally got on, dates were booked up.

You can also book click-and-collect but these only open up three weeks in advance.


SAINSBURY’S Delivery Pass customers, who pay £7.50 a year, £40 every six months or £80 a year for the priority scheme, can book from this coming Tuesday.

On that day, slots for December 20 are opened up.

Those wanting slots for December 21, 22 and 22 must wait until Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively.

Ordinary customers can book slots from November 30.

The store said it will offer more home delivery and click-and-collect slots than ever this year.


PRIORITY slots are open for holders of the Asda Delivery Pass, which costs £6 a month when spending over £40 on deliveries.

When we looked this week, in East London most slots were open apart from Christmas Eve.

In Bristol and Manchester they were gone on December 23 and 24.

But there’s still a good chance of booking a timely Christmas delivery.


HOLDERS of a Delivery Pass (which costs £35 a year, £20 for six months or £5 a month) are given priority from December 20 to 24.

We found no delivery slots during that period for those without a pass – but the store says times outside those dates are available.

There is plenty of click and collect availability – and Morrisons said more would be added nearer Christmas.

Like M&S and Waitrose, it offers a separate service for selected Christmas foods.

Pick from 134 key items such as turkeys and party grub from December 21 to 24.


Christmas slots sold out in October.

Priority went to Ocado’s Smart Pass members who signed up before the end of September.

Demand was so high that the supermarket contacted customers by text or email to let them know when they could book.

There were no available slots beyond December 7 when we looked – but keep checking the website as Ocado says it may add more.

A star button next to the “Book A Delivery” tab signals more dates have been added.


DELIVERY slots from December 20 to 24 have been made available but most are gone.

When we looked there were just seven slots in London on December 20.

Bristol and Manchester only had one slot, both on the 22nd.

Another option is to pick festive food from its Christmas Entertaining selection of goods like turkey, pre-made buffet food and canapes.

There are separate delivery and click and collect slots for these.

You need to order by December 15 but you can’t add ordinary groceries.

We found plenty of free slots.


M&S doesn’t do online grocery deliveries normally but it does have a special festive service.

Its Christmas Food to Order service lets customers pick up supplies like turkey, puddings and canapes in store from December 22 to 24.

There are still collection slots available.

The service is free but to secure a collection slot you need to add items worth at least £40 to your basket, and pay this as a non-refundable deposit.

If the items in your basket come to more than £40, you’ll pay the rest when you collect.


FESTIVE deliveries take place between December 11 and 17.

Some 600,000 slots have been made available and the store has promised a turkey to the first 150,000 who sign up to its online reservations form by tomorrow.

Pick a turkey and a delivery slot, and then Iceland will contact you six days before it is due to ask you to finish your order and pay.

There’s a £40 minimum spend.

There are no delivery charges, and two-hour delivery slots will be made available up to six days in advance.

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