Shoppers urge supermarkets to put limits on popular items again as panic buying rumours spread
SHOPPERS are urging supermarkets to start putting limits on popular items amid fears of panic buying.
It comes after reports over the weekend claimed retailers were running out of essentials such as toilet roll and paracetamol.
However, supermarkets have been reassuring customers that there is plenty of stock, as well as online delivery slots.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation today to announce stricter lockdown rules.
But supermarkets say shoppers shouldn’t struggle to do their weekly shop even if tighter rules are introduced.
In March, panic buyers stripped shelves of toilet rolls, pasta, eggs and flour and struggled to book delivery slots for online shopping.
Last time, supermarkets rationed some items for the first time since World War II.
For example, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda shoppers could only buy three of any item, while it was four of each item per customer at Aldi.
Morrisons had limits of two hand sanitisers per customer, as well as six bottles of bleach, while Iceland shoppers could only buy four hand sanitisers and other cleaning products.
But the major supermarkets told The Sun over the weekend that there isn't a need to bring back any restrictions.
Retailers said they haven't seen an increase in demand for groceries, or experienced any shortages in the supply chain.
Supermarkets say they also have more online delivery slots than before.
Despite the reassurance, customers have still been calling on supermarkets to bring back limits on popular items.
One person tweeted: "Now would be a good time for Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons to put a two item limit on the things that people were panic buying last time so that the rest of us have a chance of being able to actually shop for what we need."
Another said: "Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland – if people are going to act like selfish morons by panic buying again, why don’t YOU as shops take some responsibility and limit ALL goods to so many per person? It worked plenty of times in the past."
A third tweeted: "Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's if you are already seeing people stupidly bulk buying how many weeks is it going to take for you to limit so that people can buy stuff. Asking for the population…"
Another added: "I expect lessons to be learnt from the first wave; that the big supermarkets exercise some control over their stock and limit the selfish from stockpiling essential goods. I’ve already seen one bloke buying three large packs of loo rolls."
How to cut the cost of your grocery shop
MONEY.CO.UK has shared some top tips with us to help you keep your supermarket spend down to a minimum.
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn't on your list, don't put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – You are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don't buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they'll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – Follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
Asda has doubled its delivery capacity from 450,000 a week in March to over 700,000 now, with vulnerable shoppers getting access to priority slots.
Tesco now has 1.5million delivery slots a week compared to 600,000 before lockdown, while Morrisons has five times as many slots as before.
Sainsbury's has also doubled it's delivery capacity from 340,000 a week in March to 660,000 and Iceland now offers up to 750,000 slots a week.
Ocado, which struggled to keep up with demand in the first month of lockdown, has also reassured customers that it's businesses as normal.
Most supermarkets are still limiting the number of customers that are allowed in at one time, while people are also being told to wear face masks inside.
Some shops also still have social distancing markers on the floor and perspex screens set up between customers and checkout staff.
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: "Supply chains are stronger than ever before and we do not anticipate any issues in the availability of food or other goods under any future lockdown.
"Nonetheless, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they normally would."
Supermarkets also increased their staff numbers at the start of the pandemic to help deliver food to more people.
Asda was looking for 5,000 new staff while Lidl advertised for 2,500 roles.
Morrisons also created 3,500 jobs to help expand home deliveries to get groceries to vulnerable people.
And the Co-op is creating 1,000 new jobs as it opens 50 new UK stores.
Source: Read Full Article