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UPDATE 2-UK's Tesco blocks bulk-buying of toilet roll and flour

Fri, 25th Sep 2020 10:21

(Adds background, details)

LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Britain's biggest supermarket
Tesco will prevent customers from bulk-buying flour,
pasta, toilet roll and anti-bacterial wipes to prevent a re-run
of the COVID-19 stockpiling that stripped shelves bare earlier
this year.

British customers stocked up on long-life goods in March as
the country entered a national lockdown, forcing many people to
queue for hours or drive further than normal to find goods such
as toilet roll, tinned fruit and rice.
With COVID cases rising once again in Britain, Prime Minister
Boris Johnson told people to work from home if they can earlier
this week, prompting Tesco to join smaller rival Morrisons
in reimposing restrictions.

Both chains have also placed staff at the entrance to stores
to ensure that face coverings are worn.

"We have good availability, with plenty of stock to go
round, and we would encourage our customers to shop as normal,"
a spokeswoman said.

"To ensure that everyone can keep buying what they need, we
have introduced bulk-buy limits on a small number of products."

Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Andrex toilet rolls and Kleenex
wipes, said on Thursday it was seeing a moderate increase in the
demand for Andrex toilet tissue, but that it had more than
enough product to ensure a steady supply across the UK.

Other suppliers such as consumer goods giant Procter &
Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser have said they are
well prepared.

Earlier this week the bosses of both Tesco and Aldi
, Britain's fifth largest player, said supplies were
plentiful but called on shoppers to only buy what they need.

"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," said Tesco Chief Executive Dave Lewis.
(Reporting by James Davey; writing by Kate Holton, editing by
Guy Faulconbridge)

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