Woolies Limits Loo Paper Purchases As Production Ramped Up Amid Panic Buying
Supermarket giant Woolworths has announced limits on the amount of toilet paper customers can purchase as panic buying takes hold over shoppers due to coronavirus fears.
Shoppers will be restricted to "four packs per customer transaction" across all Australian stores and online, Woolworths said in a statement on Wednesday.
"It will help shore up stock levels as suppliers ramp up local production and deliveries in response to higher than usual demand."
"Our teams are continuing to work hard on restocking stores with long-life food and groceries from our distribution centres."
The spokesperson said the majority of Woolworths' products "remain available for our customers as normal."
"We apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused by temporary stock shortages and thank them for their patience."
It comes after Woolworths told 10 daily on Tuesday they were not facing supply issues or food shortages.
"We have good stock levels of long-life pantry items to draw on in our distribution centres," a spokesperson said.
"We will continue working closely with our suppliers to ramp up deliveries and production to maintain stock availability for our customers."
Woolworths' announcement comes as toilet paper manufacturers ramp up their efforts to meet the high demand.
Encore Tissue told 10 daily it's under increased pressure to deliver its products to retailers quickly as shelves empty.
"Encore Tissue has seen a rise in demand for toilet paper with a lot of our customers seeing some out of stocks on shelf – however we have a good supply of toilet paper, the challenge is getting it to retailers fast enough!," a spokesperson said.
"Demand has increased significantly over the last few days but we expect this to be a small blip as people can’t use more, they just pantry fill."
Kimberly Clark, a company that manufactures toilet paper and hand sanitiser, has opened up manufacturing lines in South Australia to deal with the growing demand.
Toilet paper company Who Gives A Crap took to social media to announce it's run out of rolls on Wednesday.
"Well. That. Was. Crazy. With all the panic buying madness, we’ve sold out and are working as hard as possible to restock," the company said.
"So while we work to restock, please think about how we can all do our bit to encourage kindness, empathy and calm. If you have spare rolls, see if your neighbours need some."
After speaking to Coles and Woolworths on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised shoppers to "just go about their business and their normal processes in a calm manner."
Morrison decried sensationalist reporting about coronavirus that whipped up hysteria and spurred people to stockpile supplies.
"I can understand the anxiety out there in the community. That is why it is important to get information from the trusted official sources... not to be responding to...some... wildly speculative reports out there."
Shoppers have taken to social media to vent their frustrations about a shortage in toilet paper across supermarkets.
"I just went to buy toilet paper because I NEED IT and there was like, nothing left," one person wrote on social media.
"I was just at Aldi... and no toilet paper. A lady was filling her trolley up with the remaining paper which was over flowing. She looks at me and said 'there is no toilet paper left'. I replied 'well that’s because it all in your trolley!'," another person added.
10 daily has contacted Coles, Aldi and IGA supermarkets for comment.
More to come.