As shoppers across the country are confronted by empty shelves when they head to the supermarket for one of the first times in their lives, the top boss of Aldi UK has announced a new policy to help.
As well as limiting everyone to a maximum of four purchases of the same item, Giles Hurley also issued a warning about the dangers of bulk buying.
"We have taken action to discourage people buying more than they need. Customers are currently limited to buying four items of any one product during each visit," he said.
"This is still significantly more than most customers would buy in a normal shopping trip and we hope this temporary restriction will give as many customers as possible the opportunity to get what they need, every time they visit."
The Aldi UK chief executive also gave people an insight into why he put the restrictions in place.
"I’m sure, like me, you are also concerned about those who are vulnerable at this time. Not everyone has the financial or practical resources to buy in bulk, including our elderly customers," he said.
"We all have a responsibility to ensure we only buy what we and our families need. If we shop as we normally do, our stores will quickly return to normal."
He also moved to reassure people that there was still plenty of stock left.
"I am writing to reassure you, and all our other valued customers, that our colleagues and trusted suppliers are working round the clock to keep our warehouses fully stocked," he said in a message on Facebook .
"We have increased orders from our suppliers and our warehouses have sufficient stock to replenish all stores. This includes all of the essentials such as sanitary and baby products.
"Our amazing colleagues have been working tirelessly to restock our stores. However, unprecedented demand for certain products has made it difficult for us to ensure that there are no gaps on shelves."
He added that the shelves would be filled as soon as possible.
"All of our stores receive daily deliveries, often multiple times a day. So if a certain product is not available when you visit, it will be replenished in the overwhelming majority of cases by the following day."
For the most part, shoppers welcomed the move.
Anne Bellis wrote: "Well done Aldi and I hope none of your wonderful staff get abuse from certain members of the public for this excellent initiative. Other supermarkets should do the same."
Charles Chubb agreed: "Well done Aldi, despite the misery and panic your considered and measured approach is just what is needed. The staff in our Glastonbury store are always professional and friendly, and although the store was busier than usual, it was well stocked and still the same pleasurable experience."
Anne Glover added: "We know you are all doing your very best and working flat out !! Thank you all. Really pleased that you are taking action to discourage customers not to buy more than they need. Hope other shops follow you !!"
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