Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Shoppers queue outside Asda at 6am and strip shelves bare by 7am

Panic buying across the country is intensifying today as supermarkets are taking drastic rationing action in a bid to deal with the unprecedented demand for goods. 

Britain's grocery industry has struggled for over a week to keep shelves stocked in the face of intense panic buying, which worsened on Tuesday despite weekend appeals for calm from supermarket bosses and politicians. 

But experts have asked why supermarkets have introduced different limits on certain goods, creating confusion for customers and competition among rivals. 

Sainsbury's has announced it is restricting customer purchases to combat panic buying, closing its in-store cafes to free up up its staff and delivery network, and beefing-up online services.  

The supermarket will restrict people to only buying three of any single grocery item, in addition to a two-item limit on the most popular goods such as toilet paper and long-life milk which is already in place. From March 23, disabled customers and those over 70 will take priority for online delivery slots. 

Morrisons plans to create 3,500 new jobs and expand its home delivery operation to help it deal with coronavirus.  

Aldi on Monday became the first UK grocer to introduce rationing, limiting customers to buying four items of any one product during each visit.

Tesco followed suit by limiting shoppers to five items, and Asda has introduced a limit of two items. 

Despite the stringent new measures, shelves at a Tesco supermarket in Ely, Cambridgeshire, were also stripped bare just two hours after the store opened this morning. 

And customers at an Asda Walmart in Waterlooville, Hampshire, were queuing outside the door at 6am this morning and within just one hour, shoppers claim shelves were empty as worried households continue to stockpile against government advice. 


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