Stores in Australia lower toilet paper limits per transaction
Friday, March 13, 2020
On Sunday and Saturday evening, Australian store chains and lowered their purchase restrictions on toilet paper to two and one package per transaction in all stores on national level, respectively. also introduced a one-pack limit, on Monday. These limitations were posted as messages on the checkouts, and on the chains' Facebook pages. Buyers were reportedly stocking up due to fears of COVID-19 in case people need to self-isolate. On Wednesday, Woolworths also limited toilet paper purchases for home delivery to one pack per order.
These changes followed the previous four-pack per transaction restriction introduced by Woolworths and Coles on March 4 and 5 respectively. Coles, in its March 8 media release, reported that with the four-pack restriction in place, "many stores are still selling out within an hour of delivery", and called the demand "unprecedented", while ALDI, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, called it "unexpected". Sales went up in a "sharp increase" last week, according to a Woolworths spokesperson. Canberra also limited the allowed amount to two packs last week.'s store in
To further alleviate the shortage, Coles ordered bigger packages from suppliers and increased delivery frequency, Woolworths ordered extra stock, while ALDI made stocks for a planned Wednesday special available early. Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the, said that retailers try to raise stock, but local council restrictions on the timing of truck-deliveries make it hard. He expects rising production costs, as suppliers try to meet demand, and fewer specials. On Tuesday, ALDI announced that following the early release of stock, some stores can't run the Wednesday special.
In a ABC News.report, Dr Gary Mortimer, retail expert from , said the stores fill the stock every night. He remarked toilet paper is a bulky item, leading to low quantity of stocks in numbers, and, when sold out, leaves vast shelf spaces empty, hardening the feeling of a shortage. "Coles and Woolworths have a view [that] if there was plenty of stuff on the shelf, if product like toilet rolls and sanitiser could be [bought] and are there in quantities, you would probably minimise the panic" said Russell Zimmerman per
Recycled toilet paper producer Who Gives a Crap said on last Wednesday they'd run out of stock., which makes Kleenex Toilet Tissue, and Solaris Paper which makes Sorbent, emphasized they were working 24/7 to maintain the supply, according to the News.com.au report.
Domain.com, a real estate site, reported some property sellers offering free toilet paper to the first bidder on auctions in Melbourne, when fewer auctions were held because of buyers having time off on the long weekend of . The Thursday edition of , a daily printed in , included an eight-page insert meant to be cut up and used as toilet paper.
The stores were originally reluctant to impose restrictions, according to a report from ABC Australia on March 3 in which they said they had no plans to introduce restrictions on the purchases.
Russell Zimmerman added that other products are also in high demand, including masks, sanitiser, dried goods, handwash and flour. Similarly, outside of Australia, on Sunday evening online British supermarket was observed limiting purchases of toilet paper to two 12-roll packs.
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- "Coronavirus Australia: Aldi introduces tougher toilet paper buying limit with new sign" — , March 9, 2020
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- "Free toilet paper used to lure buyers out on quiet Melbourne long weekend" — , March 8, 2020
- "Coronavirus panic shopping means some have months' worth of toilet paper while others can't get basic supplies" — , March 8, 2020
- "Coronavirus: UK supermarkets ration toilet paper to prevent stockpiling" — , March 8, 2020
- "Ensuring all customers have access to toilet rolls" — , March 8, 2020
- Alexis Carey. "Woolworths, Coles and Aldi introduce toilet paper limits as shortage worsens" — , March 5, 2020
- "Coronavirus: Australian newspaper prints extra pages to help out in toilet paper shortage" — , March 5, 2020
- "Coronavirus: Woolworths moves to ration toilet paper as panic buying empties shelves" — , March 3, 2020
- Georgia Hitch. "Canberra coronavirus panic buying at grocery chain leads to restriction on toilet paper, milk" — , March 3, 2020