It's no secret supermarkets are under the pump as the coronavirus outbreak fuels Australians to hoard food and other essential supplies. In response, Coles has announced it's also restricting purchasing of products other than toilet paper.
Joining Woolworths, Coles has confirmed it's also limiting the purchase of high demand products in order to curb stress on its supplies. While it had already been limiting toilet paper purchases from 8 March, a number of other products such as long-life foods and frozen goods have been added to the list from 15 March.
To improve availability for all, purchase limits now apply at Coles for toilet paper (1 pack per customer) & pasta, flour, dry rice, paper towels, paper tissues, & hand sanitisers (2 items per customer). From today, Coles will also limit the sale of mince to 2 packs per person.
— Coles Supermarkets (@Coles) March 15, 2020
The supermarket giant noted the changes were necessary during "unprecedented" times but insisted its supply chains would be able to meet demand.
"We have increased deliveries from our Distribution Centres and our team members are working hard to restock the shelves as quickly as possible," a Coles FAQ reads.
"We have introduced some purchase limits to try and improve availability for all customers and are continuing to monitor customer demand.
"There is enough for everyone if people shop as they would normally shop."
The toilet paper hoarding has continued in Australia despite calls for calm. Supermarkets have tried to counteract the bulk buying by enforcing limits on key items such as toilet paper and other long-life foods. Woolworths has taken it a step further and changed its returns and exchange policy in a further attempt to dissuade over-buying. Here's the new policy.
Items with one packet restriction
- Toilet paper
Items with two packet restrictions
- Dry rice
- Paper towels
- Paper tissues
- Hand sanitisers
- Mince meat - includes Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken & Turkey
Other items might be included on this list, Coles said, but will vary from store to store.
Purchasing toilet paper and other basic items has become increasingly difficult over the last week as more people began bulk-buying in preparation for potential self-isolation over the coming weeks. This has impacted many elderly Australians who haven't been able to buy toilet paper due to how quickly it has been disappearing from the shelves. Fortunately, Woolworths is stepping in to help.