Large Retailers Are Now Rationing Certain Products


According to reports, the Shoprite Group, among other retailers, says it has begun rationing certain products as consumers have not heeded the call to refrain from stockpiling.

Shoprite, which is said to be the largest food retailer in South Africa with an R150.4 billion turnover and a 30% market share, issued a statement on Tuesday saying it is doing everything in its power to restock shelves as quickly as possible and that warehouses have stock available.

They further appealed to customers to only buy what they need in the stir of concerns over coronavirus-linked stockpiling.

Nonetheless, the group said it would now ration certain products to ensure that all customers have access.

“Demand is closely monitored and other limits may be applied where necessary,” Shoprite said.

“Individual products are limited to three per customer. This facilitates quicker order fulfillment and enables more customers to be served with necessities at home.”

Shoprite said product pricing will not change and that it continues to act in the best interest of its consumers. They are working closely with suppliers to ensure additional stock is secured at affordable prices in order to meet the increased demand.

Other retailers include Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay, who have both reported an increase in sales of certain products. Pick n Pay has also indicated that stocks are temporarily low due to heavy customer demand.


“To ensure enough products for everyone, we have set a limit of 5 units per product per customer. We will continue to replenish our products regularly,” it said.

“We would like to assure our customers that we are working with our suppliers to ensure a consistent supply of our products so that everyone has access to the food and essentials they need. Thank you to customers for their support in helping us help everybody.”

Pick n Pay

“Understandably, as customers act on the advice about effective hygiene measures, they are stocking up on household cleaning and personal hygiene products,” said chief executive officer Richard Brasher.

“Some customers have also stocked up on food and other groceries in recent days. I want to encourage all customers to shop in their usual way and resist the temptation to stock up beyond what you need.

“We have an excellent supply chain and an excellent team of suppliers. We will be able to maintain a good and steady supply of food and other products in our stores. If customers help us by shopping normally, we will be able to minimise the number of times we have to limit how many of some specific products each customer can buy.”

Brasher said that the group would never increase the prices of key products just because they are in particular demand during challenges like the Coronavirus outbreak.

Rationed products will include:

  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Wipes
  • Liquid soap
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Tinned foods
  • Painkillers
  • Cereals