Bunnings to introduce buying restrictions to stop panic buying

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

Bunnings is introducing buying restrictions on items that have flown off shelves as its customers scramble for face masks and cleaning products in the face of the growing coronavirus threat.

Managing Director Michael Schneider announced that from Thursday, all of its Australian hardware stores would implement bans on shoppers trying to stockpile vital goods and equipment.

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Items including generators, gas bottles, respirators/face masks, fuel cans, methylated spirits and turpentine will be restricted to just one unit allowed per customer, per transaction.

Customers will also be restricted to buying just four units of cleaning products, household batteries, garden sprayers and storage products.

Bunnings will limit the number of certain products available for purchase at a time. Source: Google Maps

Products limited to one at a time

  • Generators

  • Gas bottles

  • Respirators/face masks

  • Fuel cans

  • Methylated spirits

  • Turpentine

Products limited to four at a time

  • Cleaning products

  • Household batteries

  • Garden sprayers

  • Storage products

“We’re seeing increased demand for some products and we want to be as fair as possible for customers,” Bunnings Managing Director Mike Schneider said.

Shelves of cleaning products and face masks have been stripped amid the coronavirus. Source: Google Maps

“We are working closely with suppliers to get stock into stores to meet customer demand and our suppliers have been a huge support in making this happen.”

Mr Schneider was apologetic for any inconvenience caused to customers due to temporary stock shortages, but expressed gratitude for those willing to be patient.

Customers getting rowdy

The move came after the retailer called on the public to “show respect” while in store, following an employee detailing “disrespectful, impatient people” inside a Melbourne warehouse.

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“It's a struggle. We are trying, we are definitely trying 100 per cent... trying not to have a breakdown is impossible. Woolworths, Coles any retail worker, we are doing our best,” the worker, named Luke, told radio station GOLD104.3.

“We are run off our feet, we are trying our best – understand that everyone, and for those that are giving us respect and are being patient we can't thank you enough.”

‘Doing our best’

Bunnings later shared an Instagram post explaining its staff were “doing their best” to keep up with demand and keep themselves, as well as customers, safe.

“We’re committed to providing a safe environment for everyone and we thank the community for practicing social distancing in our stores to help with this,” the post, shared on Wednesday, read.

“Our team are doing their best to help customers get the products they need. So please show respect for them and your fellow customers during this difficult time. We really appreciate everyone’s patience.”

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