Via Yahoo Finance

Co-op in Central England is to lift the majority of restrictions it has on the sale of products in 240 stores from Friday 17 April.

The group restricted purchases to two of each item per customer to prevent people from panic buying supplies, leaving shelves empty, during the coronavirus pandemic, back in late March.

However, some essential products will still be restricted, including baby milk, hand wash, household cleaning products, tinned vegetables, fish and meat, pasta, flour, and eggs.

Individual stores may also put further restrictions in place if they see stock levels falling and demand rising for certain products, the retailer said.

“Thanks to the work of our colleagues and suppliers and support from our communities, we are pleased to be able to lift the majority of restrictions we have in place on products in our stores,” said Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive.

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“We hope this will allow customers and members to fulfill their shopping needs, which may include multiple shops for others, in as few visits as possible, while maintaining availability for everyone.

“If our communities only buy what they need then there will be enough for all and restrictions will not have to return — by co-operating we can get through this uncertain time together.”

Late in March, Co-op created 5,000 positions for people who lost their jobs to coronavirus. Not only will it be simplifying its recruitment process so successful candidates can start work within days, the permanent jobs will also be on offer across Co-op’s 2,600 stores.

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Co-op has also implemented a range of measures to support communities shopping at its stores including requiring adequate social distancing to keep colleagues and customers safe, recruiting over 1,000 extra employees to help in stores, installing almost 1,000 protective screens at kiosks and checkouts, and implementing the new £45 ($55.3) limit on contactless payments.