• Monday, June 27, 2022

News

Alok Sharma calls for ‘logical’ shopping, as supermarkets start rationing

A man stands next to empty racks at a supermarket in London. (Photo: Reuters/Henry Nicholls)

By: Eastern Eye Staff

AS panic buying continues amid coronavirus fears, supermarkets in the UK are implementing new rules such as rationing and trimming service hours.

The moves came as some analysts warned the government of “riots and civil disobedience” if supply could not meet the burgeoning customer demand.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma had stated there was no need of panic, but the crowds at supermarkets today (18) suggested that shoppers were on a hysteric spree.

Following Aldi’s decision to start rationing on Monday, Sainsbury’s, too, announced limits on purchases, and special slots for the elderly and vulnerable.

Purchases were limited to a three of any grocery product and two of highly sought-after items such as hygiene products, long-life milk and tissues.

Asda, too, followed suit citing “a heightened demand”.

Waitrose wrote to customers, saying that it would be “reluctantly” limiting individual sale of in-demand online items.

Tesco, meanwhile, announced shortening of service hours (6am to 10pm) to “replenish the shelves and support our online grocery service at a time when demand is high”.

Morrisons said it could create up to 3,500 new jobs to meet the “surging demand” for its home delivery service.

“As shelves get restocked I’m quite sure people will take the logical steps and actually shop as they would normally shop when they go to do their weekly or daily shop,” said Business Secretary Alok Sharma. (Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)

Sharma said he understood “the rationale” behind panic buying, but allayed concerns over a crisis. The supermarkets, he added, were taking “sensible measures”.

“As shelves get restocked I’m quite sure people will take the logical steps and actually shop as they would normally shop when they go to do their weekly or daily shop,” he told Sky News, hoping that the “vast majority” would be “extremely sensible about it”.

The business secretary said he was regularly discussing developments with departments such as Defra, and was “confident” about “food resilience”.

Eastern Eye

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