What you can’t buy after limits reintroduced
Victorian supermarkets have been forced to reinstate product limits in response to a recent surge in demand.
Woolworths have enforced purchase limits of two items on toilet paper, hand sanitiser, paper towel, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, UHT milk, eggs and rice across its stores in the state this afternoon.
Coles has also just confirmed it has also reintroduced buying limits on multiple grocery items in Victoria where each shopper can now only buy one pack of toilet paper and paper towel.
Hand sanitiser, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, UHT milk, eggs and rice are all limited to two packs per customer.
The purchase limits are now in place at all Coles supermarkets in Victoria, as well as Lavington, Albury and Deniliquin in NSW as these three stores are replenished from its Victorian distribution centres.
A photo of a sign displayed in the Craigieburn Coles as shared on Twitter by 7News reporter Paul Dowsley earlier today which instructed shoppers there was a limit of four toilet paper items per customer.
"Victorian supermarkets to reintroduce limits to a range of products (not just toilet paper) to reduce panic buying, which has emerged again today," Mr Dowsley wrote beside the photo, adding it was taken earlier this morning.
#BREAKING Victorian supermarkets to re-introduce limits to a range of products (not just toilet paper) to reduce panic buying, which has emerged again today. Details to come shortly. This pic taken this morning at Coles in Craigieburn. pic.twitter.com/slt0h5SYSp— Paul Dowsley (@pauldowsley7) June 24, 2020
Demand for the essential item spiked in Melbourne after the Victorian Government singled out the city as being at a heightened risk of coronavirus transmission.
The state recorded one new coronavirus death and 20 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Victorian chief medical officer, professor Brett Sutton, said a man in his 80s died from the disease overnight. His death brings the total number of deaths in Victoria to 20 and the national total to 103. It is first death linked to the virus in Australia since May 23.
The state has now seen double-digit increases for eight days straight, with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirming yesterday there were 17 new cases of coronavirus in the state.
Despite the new strict limits - which come a month after restrictions on grocery items in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic were lifted - both Woolworths and Coles described the move as "preventive".
"We understand many Victorians are anxious about the recent community outbreak, but they can be assured our stores will remain open with plenty of stock in our warehouses to replenish our shelves," Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said.
"While we have healthy stock levels to draw on, we're taking this precautionary step to help prevent excessive buying and support appropriate social distancing in our Victorian stores."
She went on to explain that the situation was being "closely monitored" and that Woolworths hoped to "wind back the limits" as soon as possible.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain issued a similar statement, describing the move as "temporary".
"Following discussion with the Federal and Victorian governments as well as other retailers, Coles is implementing temporary purchase limits for our Victorian supermarkets to help us manage demand for key staple items," he said.
"We ask that customers continue to shop normally so that everyone can have access to the food and groceries they need."
It comes just hours Woolworths urged its customers to "only buy what they need" following an increased demand for toilet paper in small number of Melbourne stores.
Coles said yesterday it had not seen a spike in customer purchases but was keeping a close eye on stock levels.
Concerned shoppers yesterday issued public pleas of their own to both Woolies and Coles, asking for the retailers to step in and start restricting the number of essential items people can buy.
One shopper slammed those buying up big, calling it an act of "stupidity" to not learn from the last time. While many branded it "selfish".
Melbourne locks down and people are back to the panic buying toilet paper? Stupidity is failing to learn from the errors of the past.— Gillian Dempsey (@catedempsey) June 23, 2020
the panic buying is back again cause a 2nd wave could be happening. ffs selfish much. 😒— michelle knight 🐹 (@mishrox89) June 23, 2020
Really? We’re back to panic buying toilet paper? Did we learn nothing from the first wave? #COVID19Vic— Nice to tweet you. (@meholt) June 23, 2020
Strict buying limits were introduced back in March when Australia was caught in the grip of extreme grocery shortages after The World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Last month Coles and Woolworths both revealed all buying limits had been lifted as shopping habits finally returned to normal.
Originally published as What you can't buy after limits reintroduced