’Ridiculous’ panic buying returns

The supermarket shelves emptied in Healesville again.

By Jed Lanyon

Common sense has gone out the window once more as some Victorians have reduced themselves to panic buying from supermarkets amidst a spike in Coronavirus cases.

Coles and Woolworths have already started the process of applying purchase limits on certain stock nationwide as customers flocked for the toilet paper and other basic items again.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison once again called for calm in Australia’s supermarkets, calling the renewed panic buying ‘ridiculous’.

“I’m sure it will pass as it did last time and there’s no need for it and I think today it’s important to reassure people the outbreak doesn’t mean there’s a problem. The response to that outbreak is strong which means Australians can have confidence.”

Mr Morrison’s comments resemble those he spoke in March when he strongly condemned panic buying habits as ‘un-Australian’.

“Stop hoarding. I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it. It’s not sensible, it is not helpful. And I have got to say it is one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis.”

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the health and safety of customers and team members remains Coles’ top priority.

“Following discussion with the Federal and Victorian governments as well as other retailers, Coles is implementing temporary purchase limits for our Victorian supermarkets to help us manage demand for key staple items,” he said.

“We ask that customers continue to shop normally so that everyone can have access to the food and groceries they need.”

Mr Cain said Coles team members were working hard to provide a safe shopping environment and keep shelves stocked for customers.

“We ask that customers continue to treat our team with respect and understanding and follow any requests or signs in store to keep a safe distance.”

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