Supermarkets expand limits nationwide as toilet paper stripped from shelves once again

Gold Coast, Australia – March 8, 2020: Coles supermarket empty toilet paper shelves

Coles and Woolworths have expanded purchase limits on toilet paper and paper towels nationwide, just days after reinstating limits in Victoria due to increased shopping activity.

Woolworths has added a two pack limit on toilet paper and paper towels, while Coles has applied a one pack limit.

Woolworths moved to reassure shoppers that it has a steady flow of stock in its warehouse and into stores. Currently, there are no other product limits besides toilet paper and paper towel applied outside of Victoria stores.

“We’ve regrettably started to see elevated demand for toilet roll move outside Victoria in the past 24 hours,” Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters said on Friday.

“While the demand is not at the same level as Victoria, we’re taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying this weekend and help maintain social distancing in our stores. We have ordered more than 650,000 additional packs of toilet roll into our network, which is an increase of more than 30 percent on our usual volumes.”

Peters said limits will be removed if shopping patterns returning to normal.

A spokesperson for Coles said on Friday, “We ask that customers continue to shop normally so that everyone can have access to the food and groceries they need.”

Consumers took to social media platforms in recent days to once again share photos of empty shelves as a result of panic buying.

Last week, both supermarkets applied restrictions on several products such as hand sanitiser, paper towel, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, long-life milk, eggs and rice in Victoria.

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