Retailers Limit Purchase of Essential Items

BENGALURU: With product shortages, many large retail chains across the country are imposing restrictions on how much a customer can buy at a time to prevent people from stocking up on essential items.

Future Retail, which manages the Nilgiris and Easyday stores, said it was regulating invoice quantities to ensure essential items are constantly available to all customers. Such items include rice, flour, legumes, oil, butter, and cookies, which have flown off the shelves and are taking longer to replenish.

A customer can only buy two packages of 10 kg flour or four packages of 5 kg flour, five packages of Amul butter, weighing 100 gm each. For any type of dal, chana, tur or moong, the ceiling is set to 5 kg. We have empowered our store managers to make changes based on demand in their locality, said a Future Retail spokesperson.

Spencer’s Retail and Nature’s Basket Managing Director Devendra Chawla said such measures have been taken to ensure that no customer is deprived at a time when the backend supply chain is fragile. Transporting products remains a challenge and thousands of workers have moved back to their cities and towns after the closure was imposed two weeks ago, affecting production in factories.

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“We have set limits on the purchase of certain items like butter, rice and atta. For example, a customer can buy two packs of butter of 100 gm each, ”said Chawla. TOI reported in its Friday edition that there is a severe shortage of staple foods like rice, atta, dal and dry packaged foods like instant noodles, cookies and snacks at many retail stores and kirana shops across the country.

Some retailers like More have not imposed restrictions, but are asking customers not to resort to panic purchases. DMart did not comment, but asked customers not to stock up on items and only shop based on normal household needs.

More Retail CEO and Deputy Managing Director Mohit Kampani said they have told customers that whatever they get will continue to be available. “It is not that a certain category disappears from the shelves. If we have put tea, there will be tea, although not necessarily from all brands. The additional purchase is due to increased consumption when staying home. Also, people are looking to reduce the amount of trips to stores, ”he said.