This Coles supermarket customer notice was issued on 15th March 2020 during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Melbourne, to inform customers about the lack of supplies of toilet paper, tissues and paper towels. This was in reaction to the unprecedented increased sales of these items which left supermarkets low on product or out of stock.

Coles supermarkets had introduced a 1 pack limit for toilet paper on 8th March 2020 to control supply and to try to provide equitable availability of product to all customers. This notice follows up on the stock restriction, to reinforce that the lack of supply was due to consumer demand, and to also request customers to respect supermarket frontline staff, who had no control over the timing of stock replenishment. Unfortunately, many supermarket staff experienced abuse from frustrated customers, and despite the restriction and efforts to increase supply, toilet paper remained in short supply until mid-late April while paper towels and tissues didn't return to normal until slightly later.

This notice references the toilet paper panic buying that was happening around the world, and which began in Melbourne during February and lasted through March until late April 2020. From Australia to Asia, Europe to the USA, consumers stockpiled toilet paper in response to the fear and uncertainty about the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic would bring. The panic buying blitz led to widespread stock shortages, leaving many consumers without this household staple for several months in early 2020 and manufacturers working around the clock to keep up with demand.

Physical Description

A4 page with printed black text on white background.

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