Shelves stripped as buying limits return

Just a day after they were scrapped, supermarkets have reinstated buying limits across Victoria as shoppers raid shelves in preparation for Melbourne's lockdown.

Stores across the city were stripped bare on Tuesday night as Melburnians made a mad rush to stock up after Premier Daniel Andrews reintroduced stage three coronavirus restrictions.

Woolworths reinstated a purchase limit of two items per customer early on Wednesday morning across 27 product categories in Victoria both in store and online, while Coles put product limits on 20 products at stores in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.

 

People line up outside Woolworths in Moonee Ponds in northwest Melbourne. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ian Currie
People line up outside Woolworths in Moonee Ponds in northwest Melbourne. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ian Currie

 

The Woolworths product limits apply to:

  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen potatoes
  • Frozen fruit
  • Frozen fish
  • Frozen poultry
  • Pre-packed sausages from the meat department
  • Pre-packed burger patties, rissoles and meatballs from the meat department
  • Pre-packed carrots
  • Pre-packed potatoes
  • Chilled fresh milk
  • Sliced bread loaves from the bakery department
  • Frozen pizza
  • Frozen party snacks
  • Frozen meals
  • Frozen seafood
  • Chilled juice
  • Pre-packed bacon
  • Tissues
  • Dry pasta
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Long life milk
  • Mince
  • Paper towel
  • Rice
  • Sugar
  • The existing limit of two toilet roll packs per customers remains in place in Victoria and all other states and territories.

The Coles two-pack limits apply to:

  • Chicken breast
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Chicken Thigh
  • Liquid soaps
  • Chilled pasta
  • Long-life milk
  • Eggs
  • Mince meat
  • Flour
  • Paper towels
  • Fresh white milk
  • Pasta
  • Frozen chips
  • Rice
  • Frozen desserts
  • Sugar
  • Frozen fruit
  • Tissues
  • Frozen vegetables.

Coles also has a one-pack limit on toilet paper.

Coles chief executive Steven Cain said while it was disappointing to reinstate purchase limits, it was an important measure to help manage demand for staple items at a critical time for many customers in Victoria.

"Our thoughts are with the many Victorians who will now be required to isolate at home, and we will continue to work with the state government to provide whatever assistance they need," Mr Cain said.

"To help provide a safer shopping experience in our stores, we would ask that customers continue to treat our team members with respect, observe social distancing in stores, make use of the sanitising stations at the entrance, and plan their visit so they can be 'speedy shoppers'."

 

Supermarkets have done another backflip on buying limits with Coles and Woolworths now reintroducing buying restrictions across Victoria. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ian Currie
Supermarkets have done another backflip on buying limits with Coles and Woolworths now reintroducing buying restrictions across Victoria. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ian Currie

 

A Woolworths spokesperson said the move followed a surge in demand across Victoria overnight and would help ensure more customers had fair access to fresh food and essentials at Woolworths.

"All Woolworths supermarkets in Victoria will remain open throughout the next six weeks of stage three restrictions just as they did earlier this year," they said.

"We have more than enough stock flowing from our distribution centres into stores to support all our customers' food and grocery needs. We encourage our customers to continue shopping as they usually would."

Originally published as Shelves stripped as buying limits return


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