UK shoppers told not to panic buy as Covid-19 second wave curbs kick in

23 September 2020 - 13:00 By Reuters
UK retailers say there is no need for panic buying as the UK imposes tougher lockdown rules to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
UK retailers say there is no need for panic buying as the UK imposes tougher lockdown rules to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Image: 123rf/Asawin Klabma

There is no need for shoppers to panic buy grocery supplies after Britain imposed new restrictions to stem a second wave of Covid-19, the boss of Tesco, the country's biggest supermarket chain, said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the British people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a spike in the pandemic, with new restrictions probably lasting six months. That prompted speculation about whether there could be panic buying of groceries similar to that which stripped supermarket shelves in March and led to the rationing of certain items.

However, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said there was no need as food supplies were plentiful.

“The message would be one of reassurance. I think the UK saw how well the food industry managed last time, so there's very good supplies of food,” he told Sky News on Wednesday. “We just don't want to see a return to unnecessary panic buying because that creates a tension in the supply chain that's not necessary. And therefore we would encourage customers to continue to buy as normal.”

Lewis said he expected there would be some small increases in stock building within UK homes.

On Tuesday the CEO of Aldi UK, Britain's fifth-largest supermarket group, e-mailed customers to reassure them.

“Our stores remain fully stocked and we ask that you continue to shop considerately. There is no need to buy more than you usually would,” said Giles Hurley.

Reuters


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