‘One for $3.50, Two for $99’: How one shop is stopping toilet paper greed during Australia’s coronavirus outbreak

Store owner tells customers to ‘think of other people’ and stop panic buying toilet roll

Conrad Duncan
Wednesday 25 March 2020 12:40 GMT
The Redfern Convenience Store in Sydney has ramped up the price for anyone looking to buy more than one pack of toilet rolls
The Redfern Convenience Store in Sydney has ramped up the price for anyone looking to buy more than one pack of toilet rolls (EPA)

A convenience store owner has come up with a creative way to stop customers from panic buying toilet paper, by ramping up the price for anyone who wants to buy more than one pack of rolls.

Hazem Sedda, the owner of the Redfern Convenience Store in Sydney, Australia, has started charging customers 3.50 Australian dollars (£1.77) for their first pack and 99 Australian dollars (£50) for their second.

A notice announcing the new price system came with a message to all customers: “Don’t be greedy, think of other people”.

Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, has already told people to stop panic buying and hoarding supplies due to fears about the coronavirus pandemic.

“On bulk purchasing of supplies: stop hoarding. I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it,” Mr Morrison said last week.

He added: “That is not who we are as a people. It is not necessary. It is not something that people should be doing.”

On Tuesday, New South Wales police said they were looking for two men who were accused of stealing more than 500 rolls of toilet paper from supermarkets in the country.

One of the men allegedly threatened a supermarket employee with a knife during the thefts, according to police.

Mr Sedda said he previously offered free toilet rolls to people who needed them and had put up a sign telling customers to only buy one pack.

However, after the sign was ignored, he was forced to come up with a new strategy.

“When I put the two pack for $99, everyone was just taking one. No-one came up with two,” he told Daily Mail Australia.

“For all our customers. We do have toilet paper. And we are doing our best to keep them in stock for you,” Mr Sedda wrote on his Instagram page.

“Please only buy what you need — don’t buy to stock up — as a lot of people are desperate for one roll.”

The convenience store is also not the only shop to come up with a creative price plan to stop customers from hoarding products during the Covid-19 crisis.

Earlier this month, images on social media showed a Danish market was charging 40 DKK (£5) per bottle of hand sanitiser for customers buying one product, but 1000 DKK per bottle (£121.50) for anyone attempting to buy more than one at a time.

Australia has confirmed more than 2,000 cases of Covid-19, with eight deaths, as of Wednesday morning, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.

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