Supermarkets forced to close after panic buying

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 13th January 2011

Coles and Woolworths supermarkets have been forced to close around Queensland after panicked customers descended on shops looking to stock up on essentials.

Woolworths spokesperson Clare Buchanan told the Australian that floodwaters and staff shortages had forced the closure of nine Woolworths supermarkets in Brisbane and Ipswich, along with several Big W stores, 30 Dick Smith stores, 50 BWS and Dan Murphy liquor outlets and 10 Caltex petrol stations.

In Ipswich, the Fernvale, Ipswich Riverlink, Ipswich Central, Brassal and Goodna supermarkets are closed.

Coles and Woolworths outlets in Toowong, Mt Ommaney, Moorooka, Indooroopilly, Jindalee, New Farm, Brisbane CBD and Kenmore have been closed in Brisbane.

Stocks at the supermarkets had run low, with flooded delivery routes causing shortages. Residents began stocking up, buying more than they immediately needed, prompting others to do the same in case they missed out altogether.

Fresh staples such as bread, meat, fruit and vegetables were the first to sell out at most supermarkets, along with bottled water.

Australian Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Kate Carnell urged buyers not to put too much strain on supermarkets remaining open.

“Food and grocery manufacturers and major retailers are working as a team to maintain supplies of food and groceries in the flood-affected areas,” she said.