After a wave of panic-buying that left supermarkets ‘looking like a riot zone’, UK retailers addressed to people in a joint letter asking to be ‘considerate’ of not leaving others without essentials while making their shopping.
“There is enough for everyone if we all work together,” it adds.
It comes after some shops began rationing the sales of certain products to avoid them selling out completely.
In the letter, the retailers say online and click-and-collect services are at “full capacity” and staff and suppliers are “working day and night to keep the nation fed”.
The retailers say they are working “closely” with government and suppliers to make more deliveries to stores so that shelves are well-stocked.
“We understand your concerns but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without,” the letter reads.
Speaking on behalf of retailers, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “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.”
The letter followed wide public concern over shoppers emptying supermarket shelves as fears grow over the spread of COVID-19.
Ridiculous scenes in Tesco Colney Hatch this morning. Shelves cleared like there's been a riot. The selfishness of some people filling their trolleys with multiple packs and leaving none for others is staggering. (Plus so much for getting here early to avoid crowded spaces.) pic.twitter.com/CIhJexaYul— Michelle Davies (@M_Davieswrites) March 14, 2020
The government has said there is no need for anyone to stockpile items, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging people to “behave responsibly and think about others”.
The government is relaxing restrictions on delivery hours for retailers to try to ensure shops remain stocked with basic items.
Deliveries to supermarkets are usually restricted overnight to avoid disturbing local residents.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said allowing night-time deliveries would allow stock to move more quickly from warehouses to shelves.