Panic buying returns

Empty shelves at Woolworths Ferntree Gully.

Supermarkets across the Yarra Ranges have reinstated product limits, as customers flock to stores in the wake of Friday’s snap lockdown announcement.

With reports of lengthy queues, crowded car parks and potential panic buying surfacing on social media, supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths were quick to re-introduce product limits.

The precautionary move follows an “increase in demand” following the Victorian Government’s announcement of a five-day lockdown at 1pm on Friday 12 February.

Woolworths Victoria Assistant State Manager, John Di Tirro said: “We understand this is an anxious time for Victorians, but we want to reassure customers we will remain open as an essential service.

“We have plenty of stock to draw on from our suppliers and distribution centres and our team will be hard at work making sure it flows into our stores in large volumes over the coming days,” he said.

“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.”

Coles has also implemented purchase restrictions and additional safety measures and IGA Mount Evelyn has placed restrictions on toilet paper to deter panic buying.

Aldi have not commented on whether restrictions will be introduced.

Facemasks are required to be worn in all supermarkets as per government restrictions.

The list of restrictions at Woolworths is as follows:

2 items per customer, per shop

● Antibacterial wipes

● Canned fish

● Canned tomatoes

● Canned legumes

● Canned vegetables

● Flour

● Frozen chips, including gems and wedges

● Frozen desserts

● Frozen fruit

● Frozen vegetables

● Longlife milk

● Longlife specialty milk

● Liquid handwash

● Noodles

● Pasta

● Paper towels

● Rice

● Sugar

● Tissues

● Toilet paper

● Bread loaves (including in-store)

● Chilled pasta

● Eggs

● Fresh milk (excluding flavoured)

● Meat -○ Burgers, rissoles, meatballs

○ Mince (fixed weight only)

○ Sausages

○ 2 packs beef

○ 2 packs chicken

  • 2 packs lamb & 2 packs pork

2kg limits on the following:

● Meat from the butcher

● Poultry from the deli

● Smallgoods from the deli

Limits at Coles Supermarkets, Coles Express and Coles Online include:

One pack per customer limits for the following items:

– Toilet paper

– Paper towel

And a two pack per customer limits for the following items:

– Fresh white milk

– Hand sanitiser

– Chilled pasta

– Liquid soaps

– Poultry thighs

– Poultry breasts

– Tissues

– Mince

– Burgers

– Frozen Vegetables

– Sausages

– Frozen Chips

– Long life milk

– Canned meals

– Pasta

– Canned fish

– Flour

– Canned vegetables

– Rice

– Pre-packed seafood

– Sugar

– Noodles

– Eggs

– Face Masks