Local News

Baby formula under lock and key to provide equal opportunity for all shoppers

Increased demand and growing levels of theft are leaving shop owners resorting to desperate measures.
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Following an increased demand, rising prices and subsequent growing levels of theft, Sydney stores are starting to keep allergy-sensitive infant formula behind counters alongside cigarettes and mobile phones.

A limit of two tins of baby formula per customer has been in place for some time – but many major retailers are beginning to take security up a notch. This especially applies to the most sought after brands of formula including, A2, Bellamy’s Organic and Karicare Aptamil

A sign posted to Reddit yesterday captioned “Good Guy Coles” shows the highly coveted A2 Platinum baby formula has been taken off the shelves and is now kept behind the counter.

The sign reads “Popular lines of baby formula will now be available from the service kiosk to provide equal opportunity for all customers and deter theft.”

Image credit: Reddit

The move comes after many parents complained of being unable to buy formula to feed their babies, with shelves being swept clean by shoppers first thing in the morning.

The increased demand comes from a growing phenomenon in China known as daigou trade – meaning ‘buying on behalf of’, which sees individuals buying multiple tins of baby formula to ship back to China, or sell online where the prices can reach up to $100 per tin.

In October last year, a disgruntled mum from Melbourne has posted footage of the moment Coles shoppers grabbed tins that hadn’t even been stacked on shelves yet.

Hannah Dixon filmed the flurry of people queuing behind a trolley of formula at the Bridge Road supermarket in Richmond before filling their baskets.

Ms Dixon can be heard telling at least a dozen customers they’re “wrong” and “cheating the system” (you can watch at the top of this post).

She then posted the video along with the following public complaint to Coles’ Facebook page:

“All these people were running through the supermarket. Going through the checkout and coming straight back over and over again. I talked to other workers in the area and they’ve said that these people do it all the time — almost barrelling other customers over in the process.”

“I understand it’s legally allowed,” she continued. “However surely there should be a limit on how many they can purchase in a given time frame.

“What happened today and many other days is just ridiculous.”

Parents in Australia have been struggling with the baby formula shortage for ten years.

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