Coronavirus Bulk Buying Concerns

I appreciate that many people are worried about the current situation, and the resilience of supply chains but we all need to be considerate of others. There is no need to panic buy and if we all shop for what we need, rather than stockpiling goods then supplies won’t run short.

The government has already announced it will be temporarily relaxing elements of competition law as part of a package of measures to allow supermarkets to work together to feed the nation. Retailers will be allowed to share data with each other on stock levels, cooperate to keep shops open, including pooling staff, distribution depots and delivery vans.

This should mean, providing individuals do not stockpile good unnecessarily, no supermarket runs short of supplies and everyone has access to the food they need.

In addition there has been a temporary relaxation in the number of hours a driver can operate, allowing supermarket delivery drivers to meet the increased demand for home deliveries and helping supermarkets offer additional delivery slots, which is particularly important for vulnerable people and those staying at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The support for supermarkets comes as the government and retailers continue to urge people to shop considerately and look out for their friends, family and neighbours. It’s times like these that we need to all pull together and realise that a sensible approach to these matters is what is required.

With regards to baby formula in particular, I have raised this with the relevant Government minister who is working with retailers to ensure sufficient supplies are distributed around the country, including to Burnley and Padiham. Again, it is important that individuals shop only for what they need to allow all families who need it to purchase it and it is incumbent on us all to encourage responsible shopping.