Woolworths forced to introduce shopping limits due to 'primordial urge'

Woolworths has reinstated a limit on toilet paper in NSW, ACT and the Northern Territory both in-store and online as the areas battle Covid outbreaks.

Only two packs will now be allowed to be purchased per customer.

Woolworths said in a statement on Monday that their decision was based on a "spike in demand" for the product after lockdown announcements in NSW and the NT.

Its grocery rival Coles imposed the same purchase limit over the weekend.

Both supermarkets have repeatedly told shoppers that there is no need to panic buy toilet paper amid the Covid-19 outbreak as stock is plentiful.

A shopper is seen in the toilet paper aisle at Woolworths. Source: AAP
Woolworths has reinstated a limit on toilet paper in NSW, ACT and the Northern Territory both in-store and online. Source: AAP

“Frustratingly, we currently have a two-pack per shop limit on toilet paper after we’ve seen surge buying leading to some shortages in store and online,” Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said in an email to customers on Monday, News.com.au reported.

“It seems the almost primordial urge to pantry stock toilet paper is still symbolic of these times. We expect to be back in full stock in the next few days and as previously, we’d ask you to only buy what you need.

"As always, we encourage our customers to be mindful of others in the community and buy only what they need."

All Coles and Woolworths staffers and customers in NSW, ACT and the NT are also expected to wear masks for protection and social distance when they can.

Supermarket Aldi has been contacted for comment regarding possible product limits.

Flinders University psychology senior lecturer Dan Fassnacht, an expert in compulsive buying, last month said panic buying served as a balm for anxiety amid the pandemic.

He said the behaviour offered the illusion of control.

The Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour areas will be under stay-at-home provisions for at least 14 days as the Bondi cluster climbed to 130 people on Monday afternoon.

The same day, Darwin extended its lockdown by three days after its Covid outbreak grew to seven.

The ACT is battling an outbreak of cases in Parliament.

with AAP

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