Supermarket buying limits: what measures different chains are taking

Find out what different supermarkets are doing to prevent panic buying

supermarket buying limits
(Image credit: Getty)

Most supermarkets have introduced buying limits this week in order to curb coronavirus panic buying and help older customers get their essentials. Despite pleas for the public to remain calm, many supermarkets across the country have found themselves struggling to cope with the increase in demand for everyday essentials, cleaning products, and dried goods. 

In a move to prevent shortages and allow all people to access what they need, Sainsbury's have introduced restrictions on products such as soap, hand wash, tissues, pasta and rice – the limit is two of these products per person.

Tesco has also introduced limits – no more than four of certain products such as tinned vegetables, children's medicines, pasta, and long-life milk, They are also introducing reduced opening hours (6am to 10pm) in a bid to keep up with restocking overnight.

Aldi are introducing a tougher limit – maximum of four of any item – and they are introducing special assistance to elderly shoppers to make sure they get what they need and don't have to stand in a queue.

Morrisons is soon likely to be the best bet for online shopping – they are hiring an extra 2,500 people to boost their delivery service, and about a thousand to boost their warehouse processing.

If you're an Asda shopper, limits are in place on all products of three per person.

The supermarkets currently suffering the most as the result of panic buying online are Waitrose and Ocado. The Waitrose website is still down, while the Ocado website has a virtual queue of about two hours. Waitrose have introduced online buying limits, but they haven't been able to fix the site yet.