Bunnings is the latest retailer to impose limits on purchases as worried Australians strip its shelves of all kinds of products.
Managing director Michael Schneider said the new measures were designed to ensure nobody missed out on items that were in high demand during the coronavirus outbreak.
“As the uncertainty continues, we want to make sure we can reassure customers that if you come to Bunnings you can get the products you are looking for,” Mr Schneider told the Today show.
“You can get the things done at home you need to.”
Under the new limits, which came into effect on Thursday, Bunnings shoppers will be limited to four items per person for cleaning and storage products, garden sprayers and batteries.
There will be also a maximum of one item per customer on generators, gas bottles, respirators or face masks, fuel cans, methylated spirits and turpentine.
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Mr Schneider said most Bunnings products were still available as usual, although the hardware chain had noted increased demand as restrictions increased with the widening coronavirus pandemic.
“We are working closely with suppliers to get stock into stores to meet customer demand and our suppliers have been a huge support in making this happen,” he said.
“Our store teams are doing an incredible job looking after our customers and working to get stock onto the shelves as it comes in.”
The hardware chain has already ditched its famous sausage sizzles and noted a run on vegetable seedlings and do-it-yourself products as Australians prepare to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, an exhausted Bunnings worker broke down in tears on Melbourne radio on Thursday while describing the chaos in stores as the COVID-19 pandemic deepens.
The employee, identified only as Luke, told Melbourne’s GOLD104.3 that retail employees had been pushed to the limit by customer behaviour during the crisis.
“We are run off our feet, we are trying our best – understand that everyone. And, for those that are giving us respect and are being patient, we can’t thank you enough,” he said on Thursday.
“I understand people are losing their jobs but there’s no excuse to come in and be rude or think you’re the one that should be served first.
“There are lines, there is self-distancing put in place, and you’ve got people that wont respect that. And if you’re not going to respect it, then we won’t serve you.”
Luke said he hoped his call would prompt shoppers to “think about their actions before they lash out at someone”.