Woman snatches chicken wings amid panic buying spree


Supermarkets across the state have been hit by panic buying, with shoppers clearing shelves of toilet paper and other essentials in some stores.

Shopper Hanna Knowles urged people to "calm down" after another woman "snatched a packet of chicken wings from my hands" at Coles in Lalor.

"There was literally still stock on the shelves," she said.

"I grabbed a packet of chicken wings and she just snatched the corner of the pack and ripped it out of my hands.

"The slightest whisper of a lockdown and this is how people act. We clearly haven't learnt anything about our behaviour since the start of lockdown."

The supermarket chaos has prompted Coles to introduce product restrictions like those seen in prior lockdowns, with Woolworths expected to follow.

But Coles stressed the move was to maintain continuity of supply - not because there wasn't enough stock.

The limits now in place at all Coles supermarkets, Coles Online and Coles Express stores in Victoria include one pack per customer for toilet paper and paper towel.

There is a two pack per customer limit for fresh white milk, hand sanitiser, face masks, liquid soap and certain food staples including sugar.

Dozens of shoppers were seen stuffing their trolleys with toilet paper at Chadstone shopping centre, with some shelves almost bare.

Toilet paper shelves were cleaned out at Coles at Waverley Gardens.
Toilet paper shelves were cleaned out at Coles at Waverley Gardens.

One shopper Anne said she was "stocking up" as she feared the centre would be chaos over the next few days.

"It's very nerve-racking to be back here again but I wanted to make sure I had all the supplies before it gets really busy," she said.

Regional Victorians also caught up in the restrictions headed to the supermarkets with lines of shoppers at the Bendigo Marketplace Woolworths and Coles in Wonthaggi.

Toilet paper panic buying had not emptied the shelves in Bendigo, but employees were seen rapidly restocking the shelves to meet increased demand.

Checkout queues stretched from one side of the store to the other in Wonthaggi Coles after it was announced that Victoria was entering into a five-day lockdown, with customers snapping up essentials like pasta, bread, water and toilet paper.

Local Marion McVicker said she came to Coles to do her usual shop and couldn't believe the lines.

"It's ridiculous," she said.

"Everyone is just panic-buying since Daniel Andrews made the announcement."

Proving no lockdown is complete without a drink, staff at several Dan Murphy's stores said there had been a surge in Click & Collect orders since word started spreading about a possible third lockdown.

"We usually get a fair few orders on a Friday but I'd say we've definitely had a few more that usual today," a staff member, who did not want to be named, said.

A spokesperson for Dan Murphy's parent company, Endeavour Group, said there had been no signs of panic buying in store today but staff would continue to closely monitor the situation.

"We ask customers to purchase as they would normally and continue to drink responsibly," the spokesperson said.

"There is plenty of stock available. Our stores also offer contactless pick-up and delivery."





Originally published as Woman snatches chicken wings amid panic buying spree