TESCO has blamed southern middle class people for the bulk of panic-buying during the coronavirus crisis.

The supermarket has revealed that stockpiling has been less of an issue outside the south of England.

It comes after billion spent on groceries saw spending top that of Christmas.

The retail giant's sales jumped by almost a third, with Londoners hoarding most goods, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Chief executive Dave Lewis said: "These buyers tend to be more affluent customers, and whilst we saw uplifts everywhere, the biggest uplifts were in the south of England.

The Argus:

"We saw some very interesting behaviours in the stockpiling, and these behaviours informed some of the decisions we have taken."

It comes after Iceland Foods boss Richard Walker said last month: "Not everyone can afford to stockpile."

Tesco is still unable to meet demand for deliveries to people's homes despite the supermarket increasing delivery slots by a fifth.

Those buying online in recent weeks have faced hours'-long booking queues and faced waiting a month for their delivery.

Yesterday Waitrose urged customers to do their shopping in stores if they are able in order to prioritise people who can't leave home for their online shopping.

But panic buying has begun to tail off at Tesco, with the drop in purchases coming as the country went into lockdown.

At the peak of panic buying, Tesco sold 3.1million bottles of liquid soap, which is four times more than normal.

It sold double the number of tinned tomatoes - 3.3million - and 76 per cent more toilet roll packs at 3.6million. Sales of beans also doubled to his 6million.

Mr Lewis said panic buying was down to a minority of customers, with 10 per cent buying a third of goods.

Morrisons, meanwhile, is partnering with takeaway firm Deliveroo to allow customers to order up to 70 essential items which can arrive in as little as 30 minutes for a £4.99 fee.

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. org.uk/apply. To donate visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/sussexcrisisfund