Empty shelves in the baking aisle at the Gladstone Valley Woolworths.
Empty shelves in the baking aisle at the Gladstone Valley Woolworths.

The new items flying off Gladstone shelves

SHOPPERS around the Gladstone region who are having trouble finding the items they’re chasing are turning to small independent grocers to stock up on goods.

While some residents may be used to seeing empty shelves in the toilet paper and pasta aisles shoppers now have their eyes on new items; baking supplies and cleaning products.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci told news.com.au panic buyers weren’t showing any signs of slowing.

“Two of our highest growth categories this week have been cake mixes and household cleaning products. A lot more kids are baking and parents cleaning as we all spend more time at home,” Mr Banducci said.

He said Woolworths was still selling out of both pasta and toilet paper and in the past week has sold 21.5 million toilet rolls and were stocking 500,000 extra packets of pasta on shelves each week.

Where Gladstone shoppers who aren’t having success shopping at large supermarkets they’re turning to independent grocers like Foodworks on Toolooa St.

Foodworks Toolooa St, Gladstone owners Serey Pao and Sam Pao.
Foodworks Toolooa St, Gladstone owners Serey Pao and Sam Pao.

Owner Sam Pao said he was seeing lots of new faces in his store recently.

“They come here because they can’t find anything somewhere else,” Mr Pao said.

However with limited supplies coming through he said shoppers were still having difficulty buying most products.

He said on a typical 20 page order he would be likely to have 8 to 10 pages fulfilled.

“What I do each week is we put our order in and don’t know what we’re going to get until our stock delivery,” he said.

“I only take one day at a time.”

He said the two things that hadn’t been majorly impacted were produce and meat.

It’s a similar story at Miriam Vale’s The Shop.

Owner Sue Thorne said pasta and rice had become hard to come by and more recently flour and vinegar.

Miriam Vale's The Shop owner Sue Thorne joined by Jess Riley and Catherine Castle.
Miriam Vale's The Shop owner Sue Thorne joined by Jess Riley and Catherine Castle.

Typically the store attracts a mix of customers from those who do a fortnightly shop in Gladstone and Bundaberg but top up on fresh products in Miriam Vale to residents who do their full grocery shop there.

As supermarkets introduce stock limits on many items she said some shoppers were starting to buy more general items from The Shop.

“I get good local support anyway,” Mrs Thorne said.

“It’s probably just people buying that bit extra when we’re living couple of days by couple of days.”

Similar to Foodworks she said about half their stock orders were being fulfilled but had nothing but praise for her suppliers.

“They are supplying the best they can, they’re doing an amazing job,” she said.

“This has come upon us with no warning, anyone who said they should have been more prepared, how could you possibly be prepared for life halting like it has?

“It will fix itself up, we just have to be patient.”



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