Gold Coast supermarkets cleared out amid nation-wide staff shortages

Supermarkets on the Gold Coast are beginning to feel the effects of supply chain issues throughout the country, with shelves looking bare around the city.

Australians were warned earlier in the week that we could be looking at shortages of many products due to the amount of supply chain staff in isolation around the country.

On Thursday, Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said the shortages would mainly affect stores in New South Wales.


“When you’re shopping with us at the moment, you might unfortunately have noticed gaps on shelf, or substitutions in your online order,” Mr Banducci said on Thursday.

“Unlike the surge buying of early 2020 (who could forget the toilet paper), this is because of the number of people in our supply chain in isolation – from suppliers to truck drivers and distribution centre team members – which in turn is causing material delays to store deliveries.

“To give you a sense of the magnitude of the challenge, we are experiencing COVID-driven absences of 20%+ in our distribution centres and 10%+ in our stores,” his statement read.

However, it now appears that some shops on the Gold Coast are feeling the pinch as well.

Customers are reporting that by the end of the day, items like meat, bread and of course toilet paper had disappeared.

COLES at Southport Park | PHOTO Supplied

Meat section at Woolworths Southport Park | PHOTO Supplied

“Veggies were hit and miss. but extremely expensive with mandarins at Coles Australia Fair hitting $14.95 a kilo!” one shopper told myGC.

“You better have plenty of TP (toilet paper) because that’s sold out too as well as tissues and paper towels.

“Long life mild is the next iteam – 90% of full and skim milk has gone with soy and rice and almond milk is all that is left.

“Coffee is on its way out too with many lines empty, tea is ok.

“Rice has been mostly cleared and pasta is also a big demand item,” the Gold Coast shopper said.

Coles has already introduced buying limits on products like chicken, mince and sausages.

We’re being assured that the empty shelves are not due to a food shortage around the country, simply a staffing issue.

At the moment, the issues are only expected to last a few weeks.

“We understand how frustrating it is when you can’t find the product you’re looking for and, together with our suppliers and supply chain partners, we’re working hard to get all products back on shelf as quickly as we can (including Rapid Antigen Tests),” Woolworths’ Brad Banducci said.

“In the meantime, we have more than enough stock in the system and plenty more coming.

“We also have good supply within each ‘category’ of product (even if your favourite isn’t available, a good alternative hopefully should be), so it really helps if you can be flexible with the choices you make.

“We would of course also ask you to keep shopping as you normally would and to continue to show kindness to our teams,” he said.