Frank admission from Woolies boss
The head of Woolworths has admitted facing "unusual and challenging times" as the country continues to be gripped by toilet paper panic, and hinted at further buying limits.
Brad Banducci, chief executive of Woolworths Group, put a statement out to customers this evening, updating them on the mass shortages being faced across the country as people stock up on toilet paper and other products amid coronavirus fears.
Mr Banducci outlined new limits on other items, after a four pack limit was introduced on toilet paper.
People will now only be able to buy one large 2kg pack of rice and two bottles of hand sanitiser which will also sit at the customer service desk.
"As you may have read, or seen for yourself, these are unusual and challenging times," he said in the email to customers.
"We know it can be frustrating when we don't have the products you need, or when delivery or pick-up windows are filled more than usual.
"We're working very closely with our suppliers to get products onto shelves as quickly as we can. The makers of Kleenex, Sorbent, Quilton and Woolworths own range of toilet paper have all increased their production to meet this very unusual demand."
He said the makers of Kleenex were now manufacturing 24 hours, 7 days a week at their South Australian factory, as were Sorbent in their NSW and Victorian facilities.
The makers of Quilton have tripled their normal production across their factories in Queensland, NSW and WA.
"It's worth noting that the vast majority of products aren't affected and most stores aren't seeing significant shortages," Mr Banducci said.
"But to make sure everyone has access to essential items, we've introduced some commonsense limits to a few products.
"We're constantly monitoring the situation and will do our best to keep all products freely available to everyone.
"However, if we see new shortages, we may introduce other limits.
"We'll only do this if we think it's absolutely necessary and to help make sure all customers can access the products they need."
Mr Banducci said the company would keep customers updated as things changed.
"Our team members are doing the very best they can, so please support them, and each other," he said.
"Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this together."
Other supermarkets have also introduced limits on toilet paper following shortages.
The situation has caused people to become aggressive, with one man tasered after an alleged assault over toilet paper in Tamworth, NSW, this morning.
It's not just Australians. Shops in Japan, the US and New Zealand have also run low on the precious sanitary rolls. In Hong Kong, ambitious thieves held up a supermarket to steal a delivery.