‘Pingdemic’: Iceland closes stores as M&S warns of reduced opening times – ‘panicking me’

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Just weeks after companies announced they were facing food shortages, supermarkets like Iceland have now had to close some of its supermarkets due to what is being dubbed the “pingdemic”. Marks and Spencer has also warned customers that if it sees staff shortages, it may have to change the opening hours of its stores.

One person said: “I see Iceland closed a lot of stores. Just panicking me now.”

Another wrote: “I know it’s for the best but how much worse is it going to get.”

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“We need to stop using the word pingdemic, the app is doing its job,” explained a third.

The news follows a warning by M&S that the retailer could be forced to reduce store hours and that shelves could be empty.

A spokesperson said: “We provide guidance and support for colleagues who may need to self-isolate including sick pay and have Covid secure controls in place in all our stores to ensure we can continue to operate and keep them open.

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“Throughout the whole of the pandemic, we have not been required to close a store.”

Last week the meat industry also warned that there could be shortages of foods like French-trimmed lamb chops due to them requiring more work from skilled butchers.

Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) warned that some companies could be forced “to start shutting down production lines all together”.

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As Covid cases continue to rise, a growing number of businesses are reporting disruption due to staff absences.

Mr Allen added: “As a result, companies are having to simplify down their range of products to compensate for key skills being removed from their production lines.

“If the UK workforce situation deteriorates further, companies will be forced to start shutting down production lines all together.”

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