The Surprising Reason This Aldi Put Toilet Paper In The Special Buys Section

The Daily Mail reports that one Aldi in North Sydney, Australia has begun to offer toilet paper, sugar, and self-rising flour in bulk quantities. The items were placed in the Special Buys section of the store, which, according to the Aldi Australia website, features limited stock items offered at an extra steep discount that are rotated in and out twice a week. 

The Daily Mail says that customers at this location can score a 12-pack of toilet paper for only $5.99 AUD and 12.5-kilogram bags of the flour and sugar for $14.99 AUD. Surprised buyers questioned whether or not this sudden surplus could be related to the panic buying shortages that Aldi and other grocery stores faced a few weeks ago — they wondered if, perhaps, the stores put in a bulk order during the height of the excessive purchasing, but now those seem to have calmed down, so the retailer now has a lot of stock to unload. 

This phenomenon wasn't specific to Australia by any means, either — according to Fortune, March 12th, 2020 saw toilet paper sales in the U.S. rise 734 percent compared to the same day the year before, and the week was jokingly referred to as the "Great Toilet Paper Panic of 2020."

As far as Aldi's response to the appearance of regular items appearing as Special Buys, an Aldi spokesperson told The Daily Mail, "In this instance, we have the ability to sell core range items like toilet paper and flour to our customers in selected stores through our Special Buys program." In other words, these Australian customers are just lucky. 

Aldi has been criticized recently for its response to the toilet paper shortage

Earlier this year, Aldi was among the grocery chains criticized for allowing panic buying and shortages of toilet paper to flourish. Yahoo! shared accounts of Aldi customers voicing their concern when the stores appeared to not be limiting the amount of toilet paper each person purchased. The chain had previously announced they were only allowing each shopper to purchase four packs per trip, but allegedly were not enforcing this restriction. The unhappy customers called out the chain for not adhering to their own rules and other shoppers for being inconsiderate and not thinking of the elderly and those with medical concerns. Those quoted in the article stated that they were worried about shops running out of toilet paper, as they were beginning to be confronted with empty shelves each time they shopped.

Recently, an image of an elderly man searching for toilet paper in an empty supermarket aisle went viral, according to 7 News, causing many to call for tighter restrictions to curb shortages. The Australian charity FoodBank claims that this stockpiling has left many of the most vulnerable behind, and have released a statement calling for everyone to "please remember there are special groups of people in our community who do not have the ability to shop on a regular basis" and need to be able to access essentials each time they go out.