Coles and Woolworths have been forced to bring back purchase limits on toilet paper and other essential items after a second wave of panic buying cleared shelves.
While the restrictions largely apply to Victoria, which has seen a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases, the restrictions on toilet paper apply across Australia.
Even Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed in on renewed panic buying at a press conference on Friday.
“Stop it, it’s ridiculous,” Morrison said.
Woolworths managing director Claire Peters told Weekend Sunrise the restrictions this time are largely precautionary.
“We’re not seeing anywhere like the demand on toilet rolls as we saw in March and April,” Peters said.
“We’ve got plenty of stock coming through the network — the limits that we’ve put on now across the entire nation on toilet roll and on paper towel is purely a precautionary measure after seeing over a 40 per cent uplift on Wednesday.
A national uplift
While the coronavirus hotspots are located across several Melbourne suburbs, Peters says the sales spike was witnessed across the state, followed by the rest of the nation.
“We did start to see it in Victoria from probably Tuesday/Wednesday…but from Wednesday/Thursday, we actually saw every state in the nation have over an 80 per cent uplift in that one or two lines alone,” Peters said.
She hopes the precautionary limits may be able to be lifted next week, but it will depend on the shopping habits witnessed by customers instore.