Tesco has invested £1.3m to help its stores, dotcom operation and shoppers cope with the heavy snowfall expected this winter.

Tesco has bought 150 Honda ‘quad ploughs’ to help clear snow from its car parks and spread salt. More than 350 staff across the UK and Ireland will be selected for winter weather training on the quads and on how best to help customers access stores conveniently.

Last Christmas store groups were hit hard with the heavy snowfall as shoppers could not get to shops, and some online delivery vans were not able to get to customers’ houses.

Tesco has ordered 3,000 tonnes of salt to be distributed to stores by the end of the month. Last year salt was in short supply to businesses as any that was available was destined for local councils.

Tesco UK operations and logistics director David Potts, said: “When the freezing weather kicks in, our responsibility is to make sure shopping at our stores is safe and convenient for customers. Last year our staff showed amazing commitment to try and ensure customers could get what they needed despite the weather. Dozens of staff were out in the car parks helping to clear snow and grit the paths. This year we want to be even more prepared and give our staff the tools they need to help customers shop in the snow.

“But customers should always be sensible, so if it really is too icy to go outside, they can order at tesco.com and we’ll do our utmost to ensure their deliveries arrive on time.”

Long term weather forecaster Positive Weather Solutions has predicted that conditions will nearly be as harsh as last year.

Tesco will also be selling 12kg bags of salt for the first time from some of its bigger stores so customers can grit their own drives. Snow shovels are also on sale in more than 230 stores, priced at £10, and the grocer expects to shift 7,000 of them this winter.

Tesco also expcts to sell 20,000 Emergency Winter Kits for motorists at £25 including high visibility jacket, emergency blanket, ice scraper, torch and gloves.