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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Coles limits purchases of more items amid coronavirus panic buying

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Coles has put new limits on purchases of food staples to prevent panic buying sparked by the coronavirus.

Coles customers will be now limited to two packets of pasta, flour, dried rice, paper towels, paper tissues and hand sanitiser per transaction, it confirmed on Friday.

Coles Group chief executive officer Steve Cain said there are “some additional limits on certain items in each store” and has temporarily suspended change-of-mind refunds.

“From today we will be temporarily suspending our change-of-mind refund policy to discourage over-purchasing,” he said in the statement.

“If you have already purchased additional items you no longer want, please look at donating them to community organisations or neighbours who have been struggling to purchase them during this time.”

Earlier in the week, Coles reduced their toilet roll limit from four packs to one per transaction, after shoppers stripped shelves amid fears of the spread of COVID-19.

Empty toilet paper shelves at a Coles supermarket. Empty toilet paper shelves at a Coles supermarket.

Both Coles and Woolworths have introduced a limit on some goods to ensure there is enough for everyone, especially the elderly, by preventing people stockpiling.

Woolworths has dropped its toilet paper limit to one pack per customer transaction and restricted purchases of other basics.

Shoppers at Woolworths can grab two packs of both tissues and hand sanitiser, and one pack of rice, paper towels, serviettes and wipes per shop.

The company has also canned change-of-mind refunds and exchanges on some products in higher demand than usual including toilet paper, tissues, rice and pasta.

Both companies are working to bring in more stock to keep up with panic-buying demand.

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