Australia

Coles caps toilet paper purchases at one pack per transaction amid coronavirus panic

A shopper walks past a Coles supermarket in Sydney Source: AAP

Coles has announced it will only allow customers to buy one pack of toilet paper per transaction.

Supermarket giant Coles has introduced a further limit on purchases of toilet paper to a single pack, saying it’s the “right thing to do” to ensure all Australians have access to their fair share of essentials.

Supermarkets have begun imposing limits on the sale of toilet roll after having their shelves stripped by hysterical shoppers.

Coles on Sunday introduced a further limit of one pack per customer, per shop, after restricting purchases to four packs on Thursday.

Customer notices - which have begun to be rolled out nationally - points the finger for toilet paper shortages at customers overbuying the product.

“The sudden and unprecedented demand for toilet paper has created a problem. But the problem isn’t a shortage of toilet paper,” the notice says.

“The problem is that some people are buying a lot more toilet paper than they normally do and more than they need to.

“At Coles, we have a responsibility to ensure every Australian can access their fair share of the things they need every day. And right now, not every Australian can; including the elderly and most vulnerable.

“We can’t allow that to continue.”

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The one-pack limit per shop is the “right thing to do and now is the right time to do it,” the notice says.

Competitor Woolworths currently has a two-packet limit per customer per shop.

“We continue to work closely with our suppliers to get products onto shelves as quickly as we can,” a Woolworths spokeswoman said in a statement on Sunday.

Large volumes of toilet paper supply are flowing through each day to stores nationally, the spokeswoman said.

“With this ongoing stock delivery, we encourage customers to continue purchasing only what they require,” she said.

Two women have been charged after a fight over toilet paper broke out at a Woolworths store in Chullora on Saturday morning.

A video of the incident went viral on social media and showed a group of women yelling and fighting over a packet of toilet paper amid panic buying.

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