SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has come under fire after halting home deliveries in the centre of Edinburgh because of the Fringe.
The retailer has admitted that it has been forced “to limit the number of delivery slots” due to the festival and “road closures” in the Capital.
Customers in the city centre attempting to book a delivery online have found that there are no available dates until August 25.
One 62-year-old Abbeyhill resident, who asked not to be named, said she was only told by Tesco that all delivery slots were full.
Staff told her they were putting on no extra delivery drivers to deal with the festival delays.
The woman said: “If you are disabled or if you have paid for a full years’ worth of deliveries up front, they still won’t deliver. “Disabled people could be quite dependent on deliveries.”
The move by Tesco also provoked a flurry of angry tweets from customers across the Capital, with one, Charlie Small, tweeting: “Newsflash: Due to Edinburgh having The Fringe Festival this year there will be no home deliveries in August.”
Another, Allanah Langstaff @AllanahWrites tweeted: “@Tesco Hmmm what is the point in giving someone in Edinburgh free delivery for the month if you aren’t delivering in Edinburgh in August?!” And @sancakes added: “@Tesco great job completely shutting down grocery deliveries to nearly all of Edinburgh city centre for Aug. All roads are open.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “As in previous years we are operating a reduced online service for customers in Edinburgh City Centre during the Festival. A small number of customer are impacted, however we apologies for any inconvenience.”
The firm also apologised to customers via social media, claiming the home delivery problem was “due to the road closures that are in place”, and adding that “we are not able to deliver to you during the festival.”
But shoppers were not convinced, with writer and director Hope Dickson Leach tweeting: “Sainsburys are still delivering to me, so perhaps you need to find new routes.”
The firm suggested that a “great alternative” may be to place a Click and Collect order instead.
Former Tory MSP Cameron Buchanan described it as an “absolute scandal”.
He said: “I heard of another company which couldn’t deliver because they weren’t able to double park – all they need is two people in the van and put on the hazard lights while one of them makes the delivery.”
The Festival has been going on for almost 70 years and in the last decade the population has consistently doubled during the event.
“All it would take to meet their delivery demands is a bit more organisation on their part.”