A South Australian supermarket chain has re-introduced a two-pack limit on toilet paper and Coles is also reporting a surge in demand across its Adelaide stores.
- Photos on social media show supermarket shelves emptying across Adelaide
- Coles’ state general manager has urged against panic buying, reassuring customers there is good stock supply
- Drakes Supermarkets has reintroduced two-pack limits on toilet roll
Photos posted to social media showed empty shelves at grocery stores in some Adelaide suburbs.
But retailers are urging against a return to panic buying, reassuring customers there is plenty of stock for everyone.
Coles’ general manager for South Australia and Northern Territory, Sophie Wong, said stores “across the board” had seen an increase in customers stocking up on items similar to those they bought in bulk in March.
“We have definitely seen an elevated demand from our customers this week,” Ms Wong said.
“Whereby we’ve had a lot more customers coming through, and our basket sizes are definitely growing, reflecting an increased demand for products such as mince and toilet paper, body wash, hand towel — similar to what we saw last time.”
While Ms Wong said she understood the rush to stock up on groceries was “a natural response to what’s happening”, she urged people not to buy more than they needed.
“Please don’t panic. There’s enough stock to go around and if everyone does the right thing and just buys what they need, we will be just fine,” she said.
“We’re managing our stock levels very well at the moment.
“We’re constantly working with our suppliers. Our distribution centre is working around the clock to make sure that we’ve got enough supply for our customers.”
SA supermarket chain reintroduces toilet paper limit
Ms Wong said Coles stores were not seeing shelves as bare as they were earlier in the year and they had not introduced limits on items — yet.
“Ultimately it will come down to ensuring that we’ve got enough supply to meet demand from the customers,” she said.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the company has noticed a few stores “with higher than usual demand in some parts of Adelaide, but not anywhere near previous demand levels”.
“We’ll keep a close eye on demand over the coming days and we continue to ask customers to buy only what they need,” the spokesperson said.
“We have good levels of stock flowing through our distribution centres and into South Australian stores.”
But South Australian-owned Drakes Supermarkets announced it would reinstate a two-pack limit on toilet paper, after noticing shoppers buying more than necessary.
In April, an Adelaide man who was hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitiser tried to return $10,000 worth of products to a Drakes store.
Drakes Supermarkets director John-Paul Drake said the shopper had bought the goods with the help of a “team” of stockpilers when panic buying surged in March.
“In that conversation [the shopper said] ‘my eBay site has been shut down, so we couldn’t profiteer off that’,” Mr Drake told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“He had a team of people that were buying products … 20 [people], I was told.”
The man was refused a refund.