Purchase limits back in force in Victoria as panic buyers hit supermarkets

Just when you thought the panic buying fiasco was finally over, the hoarders emerge from their homes to strike again.

Supermarket giant Woolworths has been forced to reimpose buying limits on a number of essential items following a major increase in demand for the products in Victoria.

The panic buying comes following a massive spike in coronavirus cases in the state over the past week, and the first COVID-19 death in over a month, which has prompted the State Government to backtrack and reinforce tougher restrictions.


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As a result, Woolworths has today reinstated a purchase limit of two items on toilet paper, hand sanitiser, paper towels, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, long-life milk, eggs and rice across its Victorian stores.

Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said the move is in response to “significantly elevated demand” seen over the past 24 hours in certain parts of Melbourne.

“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,” Ms 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.

“We have more than enough product for all of our customers if we all just buy what we need in our weekly shop.”

Ms Peters said the supermarket will be closely monitoring demand across Victoria in the coming days and will look to wind back the limits as soon as they can.

Coles is also putting buying limits on a number of items in all of their Victorian stores in a bid to prevent panic buying.

Chief Operating Officer Matt Swindells has urged people not to worry, stressing they have lots of stock to go around.

“The distribution centres are very full, there’s lots of stock. We’re focused on replenishing the stores quickly to give that confidence back to customers that you really do only need to buy what you need.

Mr Swindells said the items affected by the purchase limits include most staples including toilet paper, paper towels, pasta, rice, flour, eggs and mince.

At this stage, there are no product limits in place outside of Victoria.

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