COVID leads to product shortages in supermarkets

Near-empty shelves in a Wollongong supermarket. Picture: Adam McLean
Near-empty shelves in a Wollongong supermarket. Picture: Adam McLean

Major supermarkets are experiencing some product shortages on the shelves, as COVID-19 forces staff into isolation.

In a recent email to customers, Woolworths chief executive officer Brad Banducci acknowledged there were some "gaps on the shelf".

"Unlike 18 months ago, this is less to do with surges in customer demand (aka "the toilet paper wars") and more because of the extra pressure on our Distribution Centres, with over 500 of those team members needing to self-isolate as close or casual contacts," Mr Banducci said.

A Woolworths spokesperson also told the Illawarra Mercury that pressure on the supply chain had disrupted scheduled store deliveries.

"Following some delays, we have deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables arriving into our stores in the Greater Sydney area, including the Illawarra," the spokesperson said.

"Our teams are working hard to catch-up and replenish the shelves as quickly as possible for our customers.

"We expect our stock levels to improve over the coming days and thank customers for their patience during this time."

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A Coles spokesperson confirmed similar issues were affecting stock levels in its stores, too.

"In playing our part to help protect the community, a number of our team members are currently in self isolation to reduce the spread of COVID-19," the spokesperson said.

"As a result, we are experiencing reduced product availability in stores and online.

"We want to assure our customers that we have sufficient stock available in our network, and we are working hard to get these products out to stores as quickly and safely as possible."

This story Supermarket shelves lacking? Here's why first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.