A KIND-hearted Sheffield woman shopping for bread for elderly relatives was left furious – after a store limited sales to one loaf per customer to stop panic buying.
Karen Smith, aged 37, went to E Suck Butchers, on Margetson Crescent, Parson Cross, for her mother Lynn Atkin, 65, of Stannington, and mother-in-law Carol Smith, 68, of Parson Cross.
Both pensioners have been trapped in their homes by ice and snow, Karen said.
The mum-of-three, of Parson Cross, said: "I went into the shop and they had eight loaves on display. I asked for three, one each for myself, my mum and my mother-in-law, but the assistant said it was one per customer. I queried it and she asked the manager, who said he was having to limit sales because he had difficulty getting bread from the wholesaler."
Karen, a domestic worker at the Northern General Hospital, said: "I couldn't believe it.
"I was trying to do a favour for people who couldn't get out themselves. What difference does it make to them if I buy the loaves or whether they sell them to three different customers?
"I went to the butcher because I like to support small shops, but ended up going to the Co-op instead where there were no restrictions."
The manager of E Suck Butchers, who did not wish to be named, said he had restricted sales of bread because of panic buying this week.
He said: "On Tuesday and Wednesday we sold out of bread and milk. People who do not usually come into the shop were coming in for bread, because we are cheaper than anywhere else in the area – it's 99p a loaf here – but not buying other things. We've had problems getting bread from wholesalers and want to make sure we have enough for our regular customers.
"Maybe we were a little harsh not letting the customer buy for her relatives but the question is whether to make an exception to the rule.
"If people want to buy in bulk, they should go to the supermarkets."
Suck's is not the only store to have rationed sales of bread. Premier convenience store, in Bellhouse Road, Shiregreen, allowed customers one loaf per person on Tuesday.
A worker at the shop said: "We were rationing, but there is no longer any need because there is stock at the wholesalers."
Mandeep Singh Khaira, of Singh's Premier, which has stores in Teynham Road, Shirecliffe, and Herries Road, Southey, said: "We are still seeing huge demand for basic items – it's definitely panic buying.
"But we have never rationed bread. Doing something like that is causing problems between you and your customers."
He added it has been "mayhem" at cash and carry warehouses but said that he and his staff have got up earlier and had to visit more places to obtain enough stock.
John Grayson, of Wharncliffe Side Post Office, which is also a general store, said: "People have been coming in buying three or four loaves of bread at a time and we've sold out of bread, milk and cigarettes two or three times this week.
"We haven't been able to get any more supplies of eggs in because we have them from a local farm and have run out of them, too.
"We have had panic buying but have not rationed sales. When we've run out, we've run out."
Panic buying has left some shops across South Yorkshire stripped of essentials such as milk and bread – and even table salt which people are using to grit slippery paths.
Even supermarkets have been running out of items.
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