Woolworths and Coles have reintroduced limits on two everyday essentials leading up to Christmas.
From today both supermarkets will limit the amount of toilet paper and paper towels customers can purchase to two units per transaction in stores located where Covid outbreaks have recently occurred.
Woolworths have introduced the limits at just over 200 locations across Greater Sydney, while Coles are enforcing the limits at stores in Greater Sydney, including Northern Beaches and also the Central Coast.
It comes as shoppers reported spotting empty shelves stripped of toilet paper just hours after Northern Beaches residents were asked to stay home due to the recent coronavirus cluster.
Woolworths: ‘We have plenty of toilet paper’
Woolworths Supermarkets NSW General Manager, Michael Mackenzie assured customers that while they had seen an increase in the demand for toilet paper in pockets of Sydney recently, it wouldn’t be a repeat of the shortage seen during the first wave of Covid.
“While demand is nowhere near the levels we saw earlier this year, we’re taking a preventative step ahead of the busy pre-Christmas trade.
“We have plenty of toilet paper stock to draw on from our suppliers and it will continue to flow into stores in large volumes,” Mr Mackenzie said.
In response Woolworths has tripled toilet paper order volumes in the state and has plans to deliver more than 400,000 packs into its NSW stores this week.
Coles: ‘Only buy what you need’
A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia they were also introducing limits to manage customer demand.
“To help manage increased customer demand, toilet paper and paper towel has a temporary two-pack per customer limit at Coles supermarkets and Coles Express stores, as well as for Coles Online orders.
“We will continue to monitor availability of these products and ask that customers only buy what they need to help ensure everyone in the community can access everyday essentials,” a Coles spokesperson said.
Face masks encouraged at Coles
Coles also introduced compulsory masks for all staff and encouraged customers to wear them while shopping.
“Face masks are compulsory for Coles team members working in supermarkets, liquor stores and Coles Express sites across the Northern Beaches, Greater Sydney and the Central Coast.
“In line with the advice of the New South Wales Chief Health Officer, Coles continues to strongly encourage all customers to wear a face covering in stores,” a Coles spokesperson explained.
Woolworths will ask customers in Greater Sydney to wear a mask in store and highlighted the need to be courteous to staff and other shoppers.
“As always, we ask our customers to follow all social distancing and hygiene measures while shopping in our stores.
“We also ask customers to treat our team and each other with respect as we work through this uncertain time together,” Mr Mackenzie said.
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