LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Morrisons on Thursday
became the first major British supermarket chain to reintroduce
shopper restrictions on purchases of key items after the
government imposed new measures to stem a second wave of
Bradford, northern England-based Morrisons, Britain's fourth
largest supermarket group, said it was limiting consumers buying
products such as soaps, rice, toilet rolls, disinfectants and
bleach to a maximum of three items. It has also applied some
caps to online orders.
"We've got decent stock levels but we want to be sure that
they are available for everyone," said a Morrisons spokesman.
Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Andrex toilet rolls and Kleenex
wipes, said it was currently 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.
"Our supply chain to our retail partners is running smoothly
meaning we are well equipped to respond to, and meet, increased
demand when required," a company spokesperson said.
Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, behind kitchen
and bathroom surface care brand Viakal, in an email said it felt
good about its level of preparedness "for whatever turns the
retail market might take, using its learnings from the first
Covid-19 wave in the UK in March.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the British people on
Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered restaurants
and bars to close early to tackle a new spike in the pandemic,
with new restrictions likely to last six months.
That prompted speculation over whether there could be
stockpiling, or panic buying, of groceries similar to that seen
in March when supermarket shelves were stripped bare, leading to
the rationing of certain items.
Images on social media showed some gaps in supermarkets'
However, market leader Tesco, Sainsbury's
and Walmart-owned Asda have not imposed any new
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.
Reckitt Benckiser, the company behind Dettol cleaning
products, has optimised its supply network to maximise
production, a spokeswoman said, and will continue to do
everything it can to meet increased consumer demand.
(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru
and James Davey in London; Additional reporting by Martinne
Geller; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Jan Harvey and Kirsten