Woolworths chief Brad Banducci has apologised to customers in rural communities, who have been significantly affected by product limits in the supermarket.
The supermarket had imposed limits on toilet paper, pasta sauce, baking goods and cleaning products, which negatively affected customers in rural areas who relied on bulk buying goods.
In a letter to customers, Banducci said the supermarket was working to address the issue.
“We’d especially like to apologise for the extra pressure product limits have placed on our customers in rural communities, who spend much more time getting to a store,” Banducci said.
“This is critically important to us and we’re working hard to address it.”
‘No choice’ to reduce specials
The Woolworths chief also wrote to customers to explain the supermarket’s hiked prices, and lack of specials.
“At the height of the surge in demand, we had no choice but to withdraw our printed catalogues and reduce the number of specials,” Banducci said.
“This was simply so we could prioritise getting essential products to stores without our supply chain having to cope with the extra volume of products needed for a full program of specials.”
It follows Australian shoppers posting photos of bananas hitting as high as $4.90 per kilo, and broccoli hitting highs of $11.50 per kilo.
Banducci said the fluctuations in fresh food prices was “normal”, and could be attributed to tough farming conditions.
“In fresh food, some of these are normal seasonal variations and some, like cauliflower and broccoli, are still seeing the longer term impacts of drought and unseasonal growing conditions,” he said.
“Truss tomatoes, on the other hand, are starting to come down in price after improved weather in growing areas over the last two weeks.
“We are incredibly sensitive to the financial pressures and uncertainty in Australia right now.”
700,000 units of sanitiser, toilet rolls to come
Banducci told customers there was more toilet paper on shelves, but asked customers to still “only buy what you need”.
He said the supermarket was “working hard” to secure large volumes of hand sanitiser, after bringing in 700,000 units this week.
“More will arrive in the coming weeks, but we’re still seeing limited stock in stores,” he said.
The supermarket boss also said availability of cleaning and disinfectant products would increase in the coming weeks, however pasta sauce was still in short supply.
Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.