Woolworths and Coles shelves stripped of tissues as flu season hits

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·News Reporter
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Woolworths and Coles customers are complaining that there is nary a box of tissues in sight, as shoppers across the country have stripped shelves of the grocery staple.

The major supermarkets already faced a shortage of toilet paper, meat and lettuce so far this year, due to Covid-19, recent floods and supply chain issues.

As flu season is upon us, it seems that facial tissues are the new toilet paper – with boxes flying out of supermarkets at a rapid rate.

Empty tissue shelves at Woolworths
Woolworths shelves across the country have been stripped of facial tissues due to increased demand. Source: Facebook

This increased demand is once again putting added pressure on supply chains, drying up tissue supplies, and leaving many shoppers frustrated.

One frustrated shopper took to Twitter to ask why more people weren’t discussing the “great tissue and paper towel shortage” of 2022.

“I can’t believe nobody is talking about the great tissue and paper towel shortage in supermarkets at the moment. Are people using tissues in place of lettuce or what?” the shopper wrote.

Other shoppers confirmed they had seen “bare shelves” in the tissue aisles of their local supermarkets this week.

Yahoo News Australia understands that the facial tissues shortage is an industry-wide issue affecting supermarkets across the country.

Coles encourages customers to 'be flexible'

A Coles spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia that the supermarket was experiencing a shortage of facial tissues in certain stores.

“Customers may notice that some stores might not have their usual brands of facial tissues in stock at the moment,” said the spokesperson.

Woman blowing nose surrounded by cold and flu products, her feet in striped socks appear in foreground
Coles assured customers there will be enough stock to get them through this flu season. Source: Getty

However, Coles assured customers there would be enough supply to get them through winter.

“We want to assure customers that there will be enough stock to get them through this flu season, and encourage them to be flexible if the products they would usually purchase are not available.”

Woolworths working closely with suppliers

Meanwhile, a Woolworths spokesperson said that the recent bout of cold weather has led to an increased demand for medicine and facial tissues.

“Given the recent cold snap and early start to the flu season, there’s quite a lot of demand for a range of medicinal and paper goods products including cold and flu tablets, throat lozenges and tissues,” said the Woolworths spokesperson.

“While customers might notice that the availability of some of their preferred brands might be limited, we continue to offer a wide range of alternatives across these ranges.”

The spokesperson also confirmed the supermarket giant will “work closely with our suppliers”.

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