Woolworths and Coles take drastic step amid new panic-buying spike nationwide

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

Coles and Woolworths have reintroduced purchase limits on toilet paper nationwide as panic-buying sweeps the country once again.

Shoppers documented empty shelves across Sydney, Brisbane and other cities on Thursday, likely sparked by the surge in coronavirus cases experienced in Melbourne over the last week.

On Friday, Coles confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the supermarket was extending purchase limits for toilet paper they’d introduced earlier in the week in Victoria to the rest of the country.

“We ask that customers continue to shop normally so that everyone can have access to the food and groceries they need,” a spokesperson.

Shoppers will only be allowed to buy one packet of toilet rolls and one packet of paper towels at one time.

In Victoria, shoppers are also limited to two purchases of hand sanitiser, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, UHT milk, eggs and rice.

A Woolworths spokesperson originally downplayed the surge in sales to Yahoo News Australia earlier on Friday, insisting the supermarket giant was well stocked.

Yet on Friday afternoon, Woolworths announced the supermarket will be reinstating a two pack limit on toilet paper and paper towels due to the recent surge in sales.

Coles and Woolies shoppers will be limited on toilet paper once again. Source: AAP

“We’ve regrettably started to see elevated demand for toilet roll move outside Victoria in the past 24 hours,” Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said.

“While the demand is not at the same level as Victoria, we’re taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying this weekend and help maintain social distancing in our stores.

“We have ordered more than 650,000 additional packs of toilet roll into our network, which is an increase of more than 30 percent on our usual volumes.”

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