A Lichfield-based retailer says it is relaxing the majority of buying restrictions on products in its stores.

Central England Co-op joined other retailers in limiting the amount of each items shoppers could purchase at the start of the outbreak.

The move came after shops saw shelves stripped of a number of good as panic-buying took hold.

But the company said it would now remove the two per customer limit on all items except for:

  • Baby milk
  • Hand wash
  • Household cleaning products
  • Tinned vegetables, fish and meat
  • Pasta
  • Flour
  • Eggs

It said that some of its stores could add or remove restrictions if demand rises and stock levels fall.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive, said:

“Thanks to the work of our colleagues and suppliers and support from our communities, we are pleased to be able to lift the majority of restrictions we have in place on products in our stores.

“We hope this will allow customers and members to fulfill their shopping needs, which may include multiple shops for others, in as few visits as possible, while maintaining availability for everyone.

“If our communities only buy what they need then there will be enough for all and restrictions will not have to return – by co-operating we can get through this uncertain time together.”

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

5 replies on “Lichfield retailer confirms decision to relax buying limits on majority of products”

  1. Common sense and being mindful of others, instead of just ourselves, could ensure that this issue is prevented in future. It’s such a shame that when we all need to be thinking of the wider community that our behaviours often resort to self-preservation panic buying that leaves others high and dry. The likely culprits probably won’t be reading comments on a website like this, either.

  2. Panic buying or sensible stocking up? This country has an incredibly efficient just in time supply chain. The trend in recent years had moved away from a weekly shop to more frequent visits. All of a sudden people were being told to stock up for up to two weeks, they were not going to be eating lunch in restaurants or canteens or takeaways or supermarkets. They were not going to be going to school or work and using the facilities there. It would only take a small increase on everyone’s shop for shelves to be bare. Of course when the shelves do run bare that is when the panic starts to set in, fueled by sensationalist coverage and social media shaming and blaming, generally of unknown groups of people. No-one did this but everyone knew that the problems were all caused by people doing it.

  3. No one told people to stock up, the initial panic buying could have been averted simply by store managers taking control and informing people that buying 6/7 packs is not permitted,how is it that people were allowed to buy7/8 packs of paracetamol when you are challenged if you bought 2 normally, as with other items fact.

  4. Chris… I like your analysis of the situation. It is really about human nature and self preservation. Of course you can never find anyone who will admit to over stocking. For most it is lack of oppertunity! It is also a matter of trust. Supermarkets say ‘there is plenty to go around’, but if you go there and there is no stock you are tempted to over buy when it is available. The toilet roll situation is one such issue and will probably be the subject of psychological analysis at some time. It is difficult to cover every eventuality but I think food supply could have been better handled. Cynically, while the Supermarkets are ‘filling their boots’ they have little incentive to organise things differently, although they have given ‘lip service’ to some emotive issues when prompted by the news media.

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