Shoppers have been left in tears after shelves were stripped of basic supplies as coronavirus panic buying continues to sweep across Stoke-on-Trent’s supermarkets.
Customers who have only been able to head out this weekend to get their groceries have been faced with mammoth queues and unable to buy some items.
It has left some StokeonTrentLive readers worried about how they will provide for their families.
There are now calls on StokeonTrentLive’s Facebook page for stores to open one hour earlier to save pensioners from running the gauntlet of mass crowds and bare shelves.
And others have called on the big chains to do more to limit the amount each person can buy.
Laura Tilly said: “I went to Asda Tunstall yesterday. We need toilet roll as we are getting low.
“A delivery came in whilst we were there but hadn’t noticed as we were in a different part of the store getting our weekly meat etc.
“By the time we realised it was all gone and people were walking around with three packs of 24!
“Also on arrival to the store I saw two men walk out with about eigjt jumbo packs of nappies each in a trolley!
“We got two jumbo packs for my son as we are running low and we tend to do this when there is an offer on.
“Who needs eight jumbo packs each!? There were hardly any wipes. Practically no tinned stuff, limited pasta and rice. We still need toilet roll.”
Diane Asbourne said: “My partner had drievn all over the place yesterday just to get my baby boy some formula milk, He tried five shops and normally they have always got some but he had tp get the last one at the Coop.
“It’s getting a joke. It’s pointless stocking up. All you’re doing is making other babies and their parents suffer for nothing.
“No-one wants to see their child go hungry so how about people start being considerate?”
Kathryn Bond described Home Bargains as a ‘bomb site’.
She said: “My daughter went in our Home Bargains and she told me the shop is trashed, hardly any food. Their delivery is not coming until 2.40pm today and they close at 4pm.”
Jo Meek suggested the supermarkets needed to improve security.
She said: “They need a staff member with a security guard manning the shelves!
“Enough staff are standing around nattering while others work hard on the minimum tills! It’s so wrong!
“The ill and elderly need more support here and the mums who can’t get milk and nappies is extremely concerning!”
Samantha Symcos was annoyed when a women beat her to the sponges.
She said: “People are so selfish. Yesterday I was doing a general shop and I said to my partner ‘oh we need sponges’ for dish-washing A woman heard me, turned and saw there was one pack on the shelf and snatched it up. She wasn’t even looking at sponges to start with.”
Mark Jackson was also horrified with what he saw at Home Bargains in Tunstall.
He said: “They should stop people at the tills make them take things back. I’ve seen a woman in Home Bargains yesterday with at least 30 packets of biscuits and no tea bags were is the logic in that?”
Lianne Leigh added: “We went Iceland yesterday – they had no nappies or baby wipes, milk or toilet paper. They were low on other stuff as well.
“I’m so disappointed with how people are acting. It’s nothing but selfish shops. They need to look at limiting how much of one item people can have. It shouldnt have to be like this though.”
What are the shops doing?
Sainsbury’s has issued an urgent plea to stop stockpiling shoppers – and ensure there’s enough food and essentials for everyone amid coronavirus panic buying.
The supermarket sent a mass email to reassure customers on Sunday morning, March 15 after shelves were stripped bare in shops across the city.
It urged families to ‘just buy what they need’ and shop ‘normally’ in order to make sure everybody has access to groceries, hand sanitiser, toilet roll and other vital items.
The retail giant also requested that residents help vulnerable and elderly neighbours, friends and family members with their shopping as plans for over-70s to self-isolate are implemented.
Aldi also took action by limiting shoppers to four units of every product.
Follow our new Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire coronavirus news Facebook group for all the latest key updates here.