Sainsbury’s, the biggest store in Market Harborough, is drastically ramping up efforts to stamp out panic buying.
The superstore is taking more decisive action in a bid to stop stockpilers denying fellow shoppers essential food, toiletries and medical and hygiene supplies.
Sainsbury’s is acting after shoppers emptied shelves of everything from meat, fruit and veg to toilet rolls and drugs at stores all over the UK.
A shocked middle-aged woman at its stripped-out superstore in St Mary’s Place, Harborough, said: “It’s disgusting.
“I’m a vegetarian and I can hardly find anything to eat.
She added: “You’d think a plague of locusts had descended and ravaged this shop.
“People have got to be a lot less selfish in these very tough times and think of everyone – not just themselves.”
Sainsbury’s will now ration grocery products and close its cafes and fresh food counters.
Shoppers will now only be restricted to buying three of any grocery product.
And they will only be able to buy two units of extremely in-demand items like toilet paper, soap and UHT milk.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We have enough food coming into the system.
“But we are limiting sales so that it stays on shelves for longer and can be bought by a larger numbers of customers.”
Meat, fish and pizza counters and cafes will be shut from Thursday March 19 to free up vital lorry and warehouse capacity.
Sainsbury’s will also open its outlets exclusively to customers over 70 and disabled people for the first hour of trading on Thursday.
The company also aims to gear up its “click and collect” service as online home deliveries come under massive pressure as demand rockets through the roof.