Local grocer offers TP refund to competitor’s customers
WITNESSING cases of panic buying has driven one Lockyer Valley grocery store owner to offer refunds - even to shoppers who wished to return toilet paper they had bought from competing stores.
Facing a toilet paper shortage at his IGA supermarkets in Laidley and Hatton, Supa IGA owner Kim Chounding began offering "change of mind refunds" to those who had "panic bought" too much of the elusive good from Woolworths.
Supermarket giant Woolworths announced on March 11, it would restrict customers from returning goods due to a "change of mind" from today onwards.
Mr Chounding told the Gatton Star he had found it hard to keep his shelves stocked with toilet paper amid warehouse shortages.
"We are finding it very difficult to get toilet paper and Woolworths advertised they were definitely not giving people refunds," Mr Chounding said.
"I thought it was a ridiculous thing - they have no toilet paper on show and they're telling people not to bring their toilet paper back for a refund."
He said the idea of raising the price of the toilet paper in his stores would be unethical but needed a way to make sure the product would be available for his customers.
He decided to accept stock in an unconventional way - from the shoppers who found themselves regretting their purchases but unable to get a refund.
"If anyone has too much and wants a refund, we're very happy to do it and re-sell it," he said.
"We're not going to make any money out of it, but we are trying to help the customers."
He said it would help his stores meet customers' needs.
"We just want more toilet paper to be able to fix up the people who are in a panic and can't get any toilet paper," he said.
"If you can't get it, you'd probably be a bit distraught, especially if you're an old person."
Provided the customer has a receipt showing a toilet paper purchase from Woolworths, Laidley and Hatton Vale IGAs will provide a refund equal to the amount paid.
"We'll put it out (on the shelves) for the same price we paid for it," he said.
Customers wishing to refund their toilet paper need to provide a receipt.
Open packets won't be accepted for refunds.