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Supermarkets in Australia Are Reintroducing Product Buying Limits

As cases of COVID-19 and influenza (flu) continue to surge across Australia through the cooler winter months, Coles and Woolworths have reintroduced product buying limits on certain items. Similar limits have been in place previously during the pandemic, particularly on items like toilet paper and painkillers to curb bulk-buying and panic-buying. So, what goods are affected by these limits and how will your day-to-day shopping be affected? Here’s what you need to know.

Which goods are now subject to product buying limits?

According to news.com.au, facial tissues are the main product subject to these restrictions; at Coles and Woolworths, shoppers will only be able to buy a maximum of two packs each during a single shop. 

While it has yet to be confirmed, there is a possibility that the product buying limit could extend to cold and flu medicinal products. These could include flu tablets, painkillers (e.g. Panadol) and/or lozenges. 

While the sale rate of these items is typical for this time of year, the supply is far more limited than usual. Consumers across the country have been complaining online in recent weeks about having trouble finding very common pain medications in supermarkets and pharmacies.

Why are product buying limits coming back?

According to spokespeople for both Woolworths and Coles, supply is currently more of a concern than demand. Supply chain disruptions have been occurring throughout the pandemic and are continuing today. As a result, the supermarkets are implementing these restrictions as a means of ensuring fairness to all customers.

“Supply of tissue has been particularly impacted, so to help ensure more customers have fair access, we have implemented a two pack per customer limit on all tissue products across Australia,” said a Woolworths spokesperson to news.com.au.

A Coles spokesperson echoed the sentiment, saying that the limits have been brought on “due to supply issues, not so much customer demand.”

These shortages come at the same time as a significant produce shortage in Australia, one of the many factors contributing to the country’s rising cost of living

How long will the limits be in place?

At this stage, there is no way of knowing how long the product buying caps will last. It’s important to stay up to date on product buying limits to ensure you’re doing your part and following the rules.

Be sure to visit the Woolworths and/or Coles websites for more information on current buying limits and product shortages.