Coles removes toilet paper limits
Coles has relaxed its limits on toilet paper in the biggest sign yet that panic buying is coming to an end.
The supermarket has become the first to remove restrictions of one packet per customer that shops were forced to introduce in March after panic buying triggered mass shortages across the country.
From today, customers be able to buy up to 10 packets of either toilet paper or paper towel, with Coles saying it had been able to lift the current restrictions thanks to "the efforts of our suppliers".
"We are pleased to be able to remove purchase limits at Coles on key household staples like toilet paper and paper towel and expect to remove further limits as customer demand continues to stabilise and more categories see supply levels return to normal," a Coles spokeswoman said.
"We are grateful for the efforts of our suppliers to deliver significantly increased volumes to meet the recent unexpected surge in customer demand and to our customers for their patience and understanding as our store and supply chain team members worked to get as much stock onto shelves as possible."
Coles still has two-products-per-person limits on items such as pasta, flour, rice, eggs, frozen vegetables, frozen desserts, tinned tomatoes, sugar, liquid soap and antibacterial wipes.
A one-packet-per-customer limit for toilet paper still remains in place in Woolworths and Aldi.
In March, news of a coronavirus pandemic being declared triggered mass panic buying in supermarkets.
Shoppers stripped shelves of essential items such as rice and pasta but bizarrely toilet paper proved the most popular, forcing Coles, Woolies and Aldi to introduce limits and beef-up store security.
Fights have also broken out, with two women charged with affray after footage of a tussle over toilet paper at a Sydney supermarket went viral in March.
Video of the incident, filmed in a Woolworths store in Chullora in Sydney's southwest, was watched by hundreds of thousands of people after it was posted online.
A man also had to be tasered in a Big W in Tamworth, northern NSW, over a stoush about toilet paper.
Late last month police arrested a man accused of stealing toilet paper from supermarkets in Sydney's southwest.
Police say two men allegedly stole multiple packs of loo roll from Granville and Auburn stores, where one of the men allegedly threatened an employee with a knife.
In response, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton vowed to crack down on "supermarket gangs" who have tried to take advantage of the toilet paper shortage.
"I think they're sending some of the product overseas or selling it in a black market arrangement," he said.
Stories have since emerged of people trying to offload their stockpiles at inflated prices, with a woman on Facebook roasted after she tried to sell off the 378 rolls she bought.
Originally published as Coles removes toilet paper limits