Discount will be available on selected products
0$0.00

No products in the cart.

Regional Australian supermarket hires security to prevent out-of-town shoppers from clearing out shelves | Australia news


A small supermarket in regional Victoria has hired security guards to check identification at the door to prevent shoppers from Melbourne from clearing out the shelves.

It’s a phenomenon that has reportedly been occurring in regional towns around the country as panic buying sparked by the coronavirus enters its third week.

From 10am on Wednesday, anyone seeking to gain entry to Riddells Creek Foodworks, a 60km drive from central Melbourne, will have to prove they live in the town of 3,000 or nearby in the Macedon Ranges.

Store manager Joanne Bodsworth, whose father owns the small supermarket, said the measure was taken in desperation to stop shoppers from suburban Melbourne clearing the shelves and abusing her staff.

“It has been bedlam, it’s like five Christmases all at once,” Bodsworth said. “We have had thousands of different faces coming through the doors … some people the other day came from Craigieburn, some from Melbourne, another couple were from Sunshine … it’s not fair to our locals.”

They called a security firm on Wednesday morning and, from midday, began rejecting people who live too far away.

“The abuse you get from out-of-towners has been horrendous,” Bodsworth said. “The c-word has been used.”

The rush started on the weekend when Riddells Creek was named on social media as a town that still had a plentiful supply of groceries. The store placed limits on purchases at the start of the panic-buying wave two weeks ago, limiting toilet paper to one pack per person and everything else in store to two packs per person.

“Because Facebook is so good like it is at letting people know, people posted up that Riddells Creek has still got food, Gisborne [a neighbouring town] has still got food,” Bodsworth said.

The store’s daily foot traffic increased by 1,300 people. Bodsworth’s thrice-weekly groceries order, which is usually valued at $650, on Wednesday totalled $2,500. Delays at the warehouse mean that the order probably will not be filled until Sunday, and Bodsworth has already been told that half the items won’t be available.

In the meantime, locals have welcomed the decision to ban non-local shoppers.

“All our regulars love it,” Bodsworth said.

Major supermarket chains Woolworths, Coles, and Aldi have placed limits on most common household products, including a one-pack limit on items like toilet paper and antibacterial wipes, and two-pack limits on everything from pasta to canned beans to biscuits.

Together with the IGA they took out an advertisement in Australian newspapers urging people to stop hoarding supplies, and not to abuse staff.

Jade Macmillan
(@JadeMacmillan1)

Major supermarkets – Coles, Woolworths, IGA + Aldi – have taken out full page newspaper ads together urging Australians not to panic buy @abcnews #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/sV1coO5k85


March 17, 2020

Woolworths and Coles have also reserved the first hour of the day for elderly and vulnerable customers – although some stores still did not have stocks of essentials like toilet paper when they opened on Wednesday.

And the managers of all three major chains have stated – repeatedly – that there is no general food or stock shortage in Australia and that all stores are facing unprecedented demand due to panic buying.

The panic that began in Australia has since spread to the UK and other countries.

Prime minister Scott Morrison said panic buying was “one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis”.

“Stop hoarding,” he said on Wednesday. “I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it. It is not sensible, it is not helpful.”

Morrison said hoarding was distracting resources from more urgent issues, with the federal government having to step in to help suppliers keep pace with demand.

The agriculture minister, David Littleproud, also issued a statement reassuring Australians that there was no risk of food running out, as the country produces three times the food it consumes.





Source link