Panic buying through the roof across Great Britain
UK food retailers appealed to shoppers yesterday to stop panic buying during the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that purchasing more than needed means others go without.
The British Retail Consortium, which represents supermarket groups, said retailers had come together to write to their customers, calling on them to be considerate in the way they shop.
The letter, signed by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl, Coop, Waitrose, M&S, Iceland, Ocado and Costcutter, was published in national-newspaper advertisements yesterday.
“We understand your concerns but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without,” the letter said. “There is enough for everyone if we all work together.”
Social media has been awash over the last week with pictures of empty shelves in Britain’s major supermarkets, with items like dried pasta, toilet rolls and canned food particularly sought after.
Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government is confident food supplies are secure, but everyone has to act responsibly as part of a national effort.
“If you are buying food for instance you buy what you need, because there’s an impact on others,” Hancock said.
Trading in British supermarkets has been intense, with some shop bosses saying it can only be compared to the pre-Christmas rush.
Anecdotal evidence suggests activity began increasing on Thursday when Prime Minister Boris Johnson said those showing even mild symptoms of the virus should self-isolate for at least seven days.
As of on Saturday, 21 people had died in the UK after testing positive for it, health authorities said.
In the letter, food retailers assured readers they are working closely with the government and suppliers to keep food moving quickly through the system while making more deliveries to stores to ensure shelves are stocked. They also said retailers with online delivery and click-and-collect services are running at full capacity.