Retailers have been affected by heavy snow across the country as they attempt to deliver online orders to customers and distribute products to stores.

Heavy snow has fallen across the country and south Wales, southern England and Northern Ireland are among the worst affected areas. The Met Office has issued an amber warning for Northern Ireland and most of England, and snow also expected in parts of Scotland.

The Highways Agency has put snowploughs and blowers on stand-by to clear major traffic routes.

Online grocer Ocado said that deliveries have had to be cancelled in Oxfordshire and the situation is changing rapidly.

An Ocado spokeswoman said: “Over the last few hours we’ve seen a significant amount of snowfall across the UK and despite our very best efforts, challenging road conditions have forced us to cancel a small amount of orders in some affected areas. We pride ourselves on doing everything possible to keep on delivering and customers can rest assured that we have made every imaginable effort to get to them. 

“Ocado has the only delivery fleet in the UK with winter tyres and our vans are able to cope with extreme weather, however as in previous years, many roads haven’t been treated and are impassable, particularly in rural areas. Our service will return to normal very soon and every customer impacted by the cancellations will be contacted by Ocado and given the opportunity to rebook their delivery slot.”

Abel & Cole also said ideliveries had been impacted by the snow and is advising customers to call its drivers to check on the status of orders.

Many retailers are battling to deliver products to stores ahead of the weekend and shoppers are expected to stock up on food for fear of being snowed in.

However, an Asda spokeswoman said that delvieries to stores and customers had not been significantly affected and that the grocer has “contingencies in place”. It expects to sell one million cans of de-icer in the next week and sales of thermals are up 150% week-on-week.