Shoppers in Southport are being urged not to panic buy amidst concerns over the Coronavirus outbreak.
Supermarkets across our town have been hit hard with shelves stripped of goods including toilet rolls, soap, paracetamol, cleaning products, pasta, rice and other goods.
Some stores have now begun rationing some items.Large queues of shoppers have inundated big supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.
It has led to concerns over shortages of essential items for many families and groups including elderly people.
Local supermarkets are now pleading with customers not to buy more than they need as they seek to put a stop to Coronavirus-linked stockpiling.
People in Southport have also been urged to Shop Local where they can.
And a number of local independent businesses have pledged to do all they can to help local residents, by setting up their own door-to-door delivery services.
In a joint letter, UK retailers have reminded customers to be considerate in their shopping, so that others are not left without much-needed items.
One good moment was a guy in the cleaning aisle had pack of anti bac wipes in his trolley and spotted an older lady who saw shelf was empty of them and went up and handed her two pack of his. Well played to the man.
— AndyFranchitti (@AndyFranchitti) March 14, 2020
They said: “There is enough for everyone if we all work together.”.
In the letter, the retailers say online and click-and-collect services are at “full capacity” and staff and suppliers are “working day and night to keep the nation fed”.
The retailers say they are working “closely” with government and suppliers to make more deliveries to stores so that shelves are well-stocked.
The letter says: “We understand your concerns but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without.”
In an email to customers from Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe said: “There are gaps on shelves because of increased demand, but we have new stock arriving regularly and we’re doing our best to keep shelves stocked.
We are all naturally concerned about #coronavirus but Southport is still very much open for business, as local risk levels remain low. @Southportindies would still very much value your support right now
— Southport BID (@SouthportBID) March 14, 2020
“Please think before you buy and only buy what you and your family need.”
Speaking on behalf of retailers, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “In the face of unprecedented demand as a result of coronavirus, food retailers have come together to ask their customers to support each other to make sure everyone can get access to the products they need.”
Aldi has restricted customers to buying a maximum of four of each item.
Tesco shoppers are limited to buying no more than five of certain goods, including anti-bacterial gels, wipes and sprays, dry pasta, UHT milk and some tinned vegetables.
Waitrose has brought in a temporary cap on some items on its website, including some anti-bacterial soaps and wipes.
Boots and Asda are both restricting some types of hand sanitiser to two bottles per person.
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