UK Supermarkets are stepping up their efforts to respond to panic-buying amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
Sainsbury’s is to restrict customers to purchasing a maximum of three of any grocery product, while it will also close its cafes and fresh food counters,
The Chief Executive of the supermarket, Mike Coupe said;
“We have enough food coming into the system, but are limiting sales so that it stays on shelves for longer and can be bought by a larger number of customers.”
Some items such as toilet roll, soap and UHT milk will be limited to a maximum of two per person. Meanwhile, Morrisons is urging customers to ‘just buy what you need’. Aldi said on Monday that customers would be limited to purchasing four items of any one product.
The measures come as consumers have been panic-buying amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
Tesco has suspended 24-hour opening, with these large stores now to only open during the day. The stores will be shut between 10pm and 6am to enable more effective restocking of shelves.
Morrisons has said that it plans to hire 3,500 more workers as it expands online delivery services to help it meet increased demand during the crisis. It is understood that Waitrose are also taking in extra staff to cope with the surges in demand.
Some supermarkets including Iceland and Sainsbury’s are opening their stores early or restricting entry for the first hour of trading for just customers over the age of 70 or those with a disability.