Woolworths has backflipped on its baby formula policy after shocking footage showed queues of customers lining up with boxes of the products in store.
A Reddit user shared a short video inside Woolworths’ Chadstone branch in Melbourne’s south-east on Sunday, showing dozens of customers stood in line with stacks of boxes in front of them.
“There was a line from one end of the supermarket to the other full of people carrying boxes of baby formula,” the social media user explained alongside the footage.
Now, in a statement to Starts at 60, Woolworths have confirmed they have reverted back down to a two tin limit per transaction, instead of the previous eight that was introduced in August.
“We can confirm from next week the baby formula limit will revert to two tins per transaction,” a spokesperson said. “We’ll closely monitor our on-shelf availability and feedback from customers as we make this adjustment.
“We will communicate this limit to our store teams and ensure our customers are advised by displaying signs in our stores.”
It means each customer will only be allowed to buy two tins of formula at once in any given store – in the hopes of cutting down mass purchases.
Seeing the Reddit footage, many social media users expressed their shock at the queues with one writing: “I had no idea it was this bad. No wonder there are constantly desperate parents on the Facebook mummy groups asking around if stores have any formula.”
Meanwhile when another wrote: “I thought there was a limit of 2 per customer,” someone replied: “Due to ‘good supply’ it was upped to 8 per customer at my local.”
That sparked a response from another customer which read: “I’ve seen this as well. I’d love to know where the good supply is, because I never see much stock during my regular shopping trips and if I know I need formula I have to start making trips to the shops on a daily basis before I go to work to try and snag some.”
It comes after mothers began sharing their panic a few months ago as they faced not being able to find prescription powders for kids who suffer from milk allergies or intolerances.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, some mums were even having to drive hours to find pharmacies with the right formula in stock, as all the stores near their homes were sold out.
Chinese buyers have been hoarding tins of baby formula for years to sell back home for a profit, stripping shelves bare in shops across Australia.