Panic buyers flock to Costco to stock up on loo roll despite shops having plenty of stock09/22/2020
PANIC buyers have flocked to Costco stores today to stock up on toilet roll – even though supermarkets have plenty.
The stockpilers queued outside the members-only wholesaler, which specialises in bulk buying, over fears of a second nationwide lockdown.
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Today, the Prime Minister outlined stricter restrictions on pubs and indoor sports in England but held off from shutting down businesses again.
It comes a day after Britain's top scientists issued a Doomsday Covid warning to the nation as the UK heads into colder months.
But shoppers have been urged not to panic buy like they did ahead of the last lockdown, which saw supermarket shelves stripped of pasta and tinned goods.
Even so, Costco hoarders were spotted leaving the warehouse in Chingford with trolleys unnecessarily piled high with packs of loo roll, in case they need to hunker down.
Queues to get into stores in Glasgow, Leeds, London and Manchester snaked around the car parks while shoppers socially distanced.
Shops had to put up barriers to control the flow of the queues to make sure they weren't inundated.
Grocery stores including Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have all assured customers that there is enough stock to go around and they're not seeing any shortages.
Andrew Opie, from the British Retail Consortium, told The Sun yesterday: "Retailers have done an excellent job in ensuring customers have access to the food and necessities throughout this pandemic.
"Supermarkets have put in place a range of safety measures to protect staff and customers.
"In the event of future lockdowns we urge consumers to be considerate and shop for food as they would usually during this difficult time."
'No need to stockpile'
Retailers are keen to avoid the chaos and shortages caused by panic buyers earlier this year, which lead to one supermarket worker breaking down in tears after being abused by stockpilers.
Shops were forced to ration goods for the first time since WWII to stop hoarders snapping up supplies of essentials, causing even more panic.
The restrictions were lifted as lockdown measures were eased and customers buying habits returned to normal.
So far, the supermarkets feel there has been no need to reintroduce them but shoppers are urging retailers to enforce the rules again.
One person tweeted: "Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's if you are already seeing people stupidly bulk buying how many weeks is it going to take for you to limit so that people can buy stuff. Asking for the population…"
Another added: "I expect lessons to be learnt from the first wave; that the big supermarkets exercise some control over their stock and limit the selfish from stockpiling essential goods. I’ve already seen one bloke buying three large packs of loo rolls."
Supermarkets have also dramatically increased the number of online delivery slots since last time to keep up with demand and avoid a future shortage.
Asda has doubled its delivery capacity from 450,000 a week in March to over 700,000 now, with vulnerable shoppers getting access to priority slots.
Tesco now has 1.5million delivery slots a week compared to 600,000 before lockdown, while Morrisons has five times as many slots as before.
Sainsbury's has also doubled it's delivery capacity from 340,000 a week in March to 660,000 and Iceland now offers up to 750,000 slots a week.
Ocado, which struggled to keep up with demand in the first month of lockdown, has also reassured customers that it's businesses as normal.
Most supermarkets are still limiting the number of customers that are allowed in at one time, while people are also being told to wear face masks inside.
Some shops also still have social distancing markers on the floor and perspex screens set up between customers and checkout staff.
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