Sainsbury's boss warns on shortage of some Christmas food items in letter to customers

THE boss of Sainsbury's has warned customers that some of their favourite festive foods could be in short supply this Christmas.

The supermarket chief executive Simon Roberts told customers "some popular products will be hard to find".

The letter was sent to reassure customers that the supermarket chain was doing all it could to avoid shortages, and encourage shoppers not to panic and stock pile.

But the stark warning is the latest in a string of cautious messages to Brits that shortages will be widespread over the coming months.

The letter came as shoppers were advised they would be able to book their Christmas delivery slot with the supermarket from next month.

Sainsbury's has also confirmed that like many retailers this year, it will be closed on Boxing Day.

In the letter, Roberts said: "We know how much we all missed being able to spend time with our families and love ones last year and that we all want to make this Christmas even more special.

"Following reports that some popular products will be hard to find this Christmas, I want to let you know we're working flat out to make it a Christmas to remember."

In recent days there have been reports of a shortage of mince pies as well as warnings over a shortage of crisps.

Families have been told they might not be able to buy the toys they want to for children this Christmas and there have even been predictions of a short supply of Christmas trees.

Much of the problem stems from a lack of lorry drivers, meaning delivery delays and supply chain issues.

In a bid to avoid major problems, many big retailers are embarking on a hiring spree, recruiting thousands of temporary workers for the festive period.

Amazon is even offering a £3,000 joining bonus as an incentive to new workers.

Sainbury's Roberts said stores will be getting regular deliveries right up until Christmas Eve, adding that longer-life products such as Christmas puddings, nuts and cranberry sauce are already available to shoppers.

He said: "We expect to sell more fresh turkeys this year than ever before and we'll have plenty available, but if you can't wait until they arrive on 19th December, frozen turkeys are already in store, as well as frozen party food."

The supermarket boss said he wants to "reassure" shoppers "that there will be plenty of food" amid concerns over empty supermarket shelves this Christmas.

"We are confident that even if the exact product you are looking for isn't available, there will be a good alternative," Mr Roberts said, and thanked customers for their understanding.

Sainsbury's delivery pass holders can book their Christmas food order from November 23 and other customers can secure a slot from November 30.

Other retailers including M&S, Aldi, Morrisons and Poundland will also close on December 26.

Asda has already revealed when shoppers can book a Christmas delivery slot.

If you're worried about securing a slot before they sell out, here are our top tips to make sure you get your order in.

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