Sainsbury’s have warned on Thursday they expect to take a £500m hit over making their stores safe for customers and non-food sales have plummeted.
In recent week the supermarket giant had a boom in sales with people stockpiling and customers later went about their normal shopping habits.
Profits are expected to be hit due to “significant costs” due weaker demand for fuel on their forecourts, clothing other merchandise and less profits in the bank.
The company have deferred the decision over paying dividends until later this year, and bosses will take no bonus this year.
Sainsbury’s posted a 2% drop in annual underlying pre-tax profits to £586m in the 52 weeks to 7 March prior to the outbreak escalation.
Chief executive Mike Coupe told the BBC that their stock levels are now back to normal. He said, “You can buy everything you need in our stores, you wouldn’t necessarily get the brand you’re used to but pretty much normal service has returned.”
Coupe said demand for food is good, he said, “We are running at a higher level than normal and we’d expected that because people are eating in rather than eating out for obvious reasons.
“They’re coming less frequently and they’re buying a lot more when they come, roughly twice as much as they were buying previously.”
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