Australian supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths have placed a limit on customer purchases as the coronavirus pandemic spreads fear globally. Introducing purchasing limitations on certain consumer items can prevent hoarders and stockpilers from panic buying. These Aussie superstores want to ensure that there will be enough left for everyone in public, especially the elderly.
Last Friday, Coles Group CEO Steve Cain, announced a restriction on particular items in each of their stores. The purchase of products such as flour, pasta, rice, paper tissues, paper towels, and hand sanitisers are now limited to two packets per transaction. Furthermore, he said there would be a temporary suspension on their change-of-mind policy to discourage customers from over-purchasing.
Cain also suggested donating unwanted items to community organisations or needful neighbours instead of asking for a refund. Last week, Coles lowered their limit on toilet roll purchases to one packet for every transaction from the previous four packs.
One of the biggest Australian supermarkets, Woolworths, had also publicised new limitations on certain consumer items and their store’s refund policy a few days ago. Aside from the existing limits on hand sanitiser, toilet paper, and bulk rice packs, it also placed quantity restrictions on items such as paper towels, tissues, wipes, and serviettes.
Woolworths also has now dropped the limit on toilet paper purchases to one packet per transaction for every customer from the previous two packs. It also began controlling the acquisition of other rudimentary items. The store restricted customers to one packet per transaction for products like serviettes, paper towels, wipes, and rice. However, customers are allowed to buy two packs of hand sanitisers for every purchase.
Woolworths can meet the necessities of many customers amidst the uncertainty of the global crisis with this strategy.
Moreover, Woolworths will no longer acknowledge change-of-mind refund requests and item exchanges on certain products that are highly in demand, such as rice, tissues, past, and toilet paper.
Woolworths calls for cooperation and encourages customers to buy what was necessary. Now both companies are working to acquire more stocks as demand rises.
Calm and Chaos in Australian Supermarkets
One video post on Reddit shows a long line of customers at a Coles supermarket waiting patiently on Saturday. It immediately went viral, and people started commenting, saying that Australia is managing the situation correctly.
However, the video footage is in stark contrast of the other videos circulating online where customers filled Aussie superstores to the brim, fighting and arguing over toilet papers.
Another video last week surfaced, showing buyers stampeding towards the toilet paper aisle once the doors to a Western Sydney Aldi store has opened.
People who commented on the Coles store video suggested that those who are waiting to buy toilet paper are most probably running low in supplies. Compared to those panic-buying or hoarding, they might be thinking about other people too.
Last week, Australian supermarkets throughout the country had seen a shortage in toilet paper as the masses went into a panic-buying frenzy due to the coronavirus outbreak. Now, the shoppers are going to the stores way before the deliveries arrive.