Retailers want the Welsh government to lift the ban on the sale of "non-essentials" that led to aisles being blocked and shelves covered, and to instead shift the onus onto customers to act responsibly.
In return, supermarkets will use their speaker systems, signs, and social media to persuade customers to put off non-essential purchases, as proposed in recommendations on Tuesday from business leaders.
"We recommend the individual customer is trusted to make their own decision as to whether a product is non-essential or not," the Oct. 27 proposal states. "If the customer goes ahead with the purchase of the item the final liability ought to rest with the customer."
To avoid tempting people into impulse buying, and to reduce browsing, supermarkets would take down promotional displays.
He also said he was “saddened” by an exchange on social media, during which a woman was mistakenly told by a supermarket that sanitary products are non-essential after she found the health aisle blocked.
After the 17-day lockdown began on Friday, images of supermarkets covering up shelves in plastic stirred debate and headlines. To avoid unfair advantages over smaller retailers forced to shut, they had been told not to sell non-essential items.
The controversy deepened when it emerged that Tesco had told a woman via a tweet that sanitary products were not an essential item when she complained about the relevant aisle being blocked.
Tesco later apologized, saying that the tweet in question was a standard response sent in error and that the Health and Beauty area of the store had been closed off following a break-in due to a police investigation.
“Sanitary products are essential items and are available to customers in all of our stores in Wales,” a Tesco spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email. “The reply to this customer, which implied these products were non-essential, was sent by mistake and we’re very sorry for any confusion caused.”
He said that the measures were to “reset the clock and allow us to get through to Christmas”.