Camperdown Chronicle
Coronavirus misconception causes toilet paper panic

CORONAVIRUS panic buying hit Camperdown this week with toilet paper and hand sanitisers being the main targets.

While the demand for sanitiser is directly related to the possible spread of Coronavirus, the demand for toilet paper was due to a misconception the product was imported from China and would therefore become a scarce commodity.

Toilet paper is, in fact, produced in Australia and Kimberly-Clark has increased its production to 24 hours a day in direct response to the panic buying.

Ritchies IGA store manager Ebony Marshall said sanitisers were completely sold out last weekend, while toilet paper shelves were almost completely emptied and refilled on Wednesday.

“Some people are buying trolley loads of toilet paper and nothing else,” she said.

“People are targeting the bigger, bulk buy packages.

“We have a huge storeroom, so we’ve always got plenty of pallets of toilet paper in stock, so we were able to restock the shelves pretty much straight away.”

Mrs Marshall said hand sanitiser was also in strong demand, with people placing orders for them.

“Quite a few customers have asked us to hold sanitiser for them and to give them a ring when it arrives,” she said.

“We’ve ordered more, but we won’t know what arrives until the supply truck comes in.”

Camperdown Woolworths also experienced a level of panic buying, with toilet paper, hand sanitiser, tissues, long-life milk, rice and pasta targeted.

Woolworths implemented a statewide limit of four packs (any sized) of toilet paper per customer and two bottles of hand sanitiser per customer.

While there is no shortage of toilet paper in Australia, the supermarket was facing freight issues to keep the various stores in full supply as a result of the panic buying.

Camperdown Pharmacy and Camperdown Pharmacy and Little Shoe Shop pharmacist Abbey Dixon said both stores were wiped out of hand sanitiser early this week.

“We can’t get it from the warehouses at the moment,” she said.

“Face masks are also sold out – but they sold out when the January fires were on and the air was very smoky.

“Panadol is also being bought up, but not to the same extent, and while we do still have some toilet paper in stock, our warehouse supplier does not have any more in stock.”

Ms Dixon said a number of customers had also filled advances on their medication scripts.

“We’re not recommending a need for people to stock up at this stage,” she said.

Ritchies IGA Cobden store manager Paul Brebner refilled the shelves eight times after shoppers kept clearing them of toilet paper.