Coronavirus: Aldi eases restrictions on purchasing products

Hand sanitiser is still subject to restrictions as shoppers are asked to ‘act responsibly’

Aldi in Blackrock, Dublin, in mid-March, when shelves were emptying fast. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Aldi in Blackrock, Dublin, in mid-March, when shelves were emptying fast. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

Supermarket chain Aldi has lifted almost all of the product purchase restrictions it introduced in its 142 stores in the State on March 12th amid the spike in grocery shopping that followed the Government’s move to close schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Aldi said the temporary limit of purchasing a maximum of four units of a product would only remain for “a small number of products” such as hand sanitiser.

The grocery retailer had previously applied purchase limits to products such as toilet roll, tissues, pasta and tinned tomatoes, but these rules have now been relaxed following a return to “more consistent levels of trading” across its stores.

Fellow German discounter Lidl said it had been able to meet the “exceptional” demand in recent weeks.

“Nonetheless we have retained product restrictions (two per customer) on certain products in the household cleaning, cosmetics and tissue categories,” it said.

“This is not due to product shortages, but rather to avoid bulk-buying and to ensure fairness for all of our customers.”

SuperValu and Tesco

SuperValu said it had “a limited number” of purchase restrictions on certain products, including hand sanitiser, with these rules decided on a store-by-store basis.

Tesco Ireland has not set formal restrictions on the number of products per customer in stores, but was “operating on a discretionary basis” at store level.

“While we’ve seen demand increase for certain products, we are doing everything we can to ensure customers can get what they need. We continue to ask our shoppers to act responsibly and not to alter their normal shopping habits,” said Tesco Ireland commercial director Joe Manning.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s address to the nation from Washington, DC, on March 12th sparked a day of panic-buying in many supermarkets. But in more recent days, queues in and outside stores have typically been the result of in-store social distancing measures.