Supermarkets call for ‘responsible shopping’ to stop coronavirus panic buying

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Jessica Savage

Supermarkets are urging customers to shop responsibly during the coronavirus outbreak.

UK retailers have sent a joint letter to consumers urging them to be "considerate" in their shopping, to ensure there is enough food for the country.

It comes as scores of shoppers have been panic-buying essentials, including toilet paper, leaving shelves bare, as fears intensify over the spread of Covid-19.

Supermarkets are currently working "round the clock" to help customers get the items they need, the British Retail Consortium said.

Essential items, like toilet paper, are out of stock in many stores. Credit: PA

The letter aims to reassure customers, while calling on them to support each other during the crisis.

It said: “We would ask everyone to be considerate in the way they shop.

“We understand your concerns, but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without.

“There is enough for everyone if we all work together.

“Together we can make sure we are looking out for family, friends, neighbours.

“Together we will care for those around us and those who are elderly, vulnerable or choosing to remain at home.”

Customers have been stockpiling amid the coronavirus outbreak. Credit: PA

Firms are working closely with the Government and suppliers, and have arranged more store deliveries to ensure shelves are stocked, the letter added.

Outlets with online delivery and click-and-collect services are running them at full capacity.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Retailers are working incredibly hard to keep shops well stocked and deliveries running as smoothly as possible.

“In the face of unprecedented demand as a result of coronavirus, food retailers have come together to ask their customers to support each other to make sure everyone can get access to the products they need.”

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said: “I fully support the call from British food retailers urging us all to be considerate in the way we shop and look out for our neighbours.

“By working together, our leading supermarkets have provided the reassurance there is plenty of stock available and people should buy products as they normally would.

“We are in regular contact with the food industry and retailers are continuing to monitor their supply chains and are taking all the necessary steps to ensure consumers have the food and supplies they need.”

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