Supermarkets impose buying limits

March 12, 2020
General Food Supermarket
General Food Supermarket

Corporate Area supermarkets have restricted the number of certain items that customers can purchase following a rush brought on by COVID-19.

Sheryl Chung, manager of General Food Supermarket on Old Hope Road, told THE STAR that the decision was made after one of its shelves was left bare by one shopper who bought out all the sanitisers, hand soap, alcohol and wipes.

"Then another company, who we don't usually do business with, wanted to clear an entire shelf and wanted to buy everything that we have in storage. So, we had to quickly implement this change," she said.

Persons can now only purchase two units of hand sanitisers, hand soap or wipes.

Chung believes that people should be conscientious, arguing that at this time, it's unfair for one person to purchase an entire case of one product.

"We want to ensure that there are products remaining for our regular customers. We have to spread the love," she said.

Following the Health Ministry's announcement of Jamaica's first case of COVID-19 on Tuesday, people have been swarming supermarkets and pharmacies to stock up on supplies.

"We have food supplies so we should be good to go. One and two things are out right now in terms of the cleaning items, but we have deliveries set to come," she said.

John R Wong Supermarket has implemented a similar strategy, according to manager Peter Vanderleer.

Limiting disinfectant

"We are limiting disinfectant spray to one can per person. Our suppliers told us that item is very hard to get, so we had to ration that one. I would say there's an increase in the turnover of paper products. Anything related to antiseptic and disinfectant is going very fast ... hand soaps, antibacterial soaps, and canned foods also. Certain items ran very low yesterday but our supplies are still able to meet the demands," he said.

Golden Grocery on Constant Spring Road is completely out of hand sanitiser. Caroline Yapp, manager, believes people are 'panic buying.'

"Where they could get by with one can of this and one bottle of that, they're buying dozens. When I looked on my shelf over the last few days, I had a lot. We are a little supermarket with not a big clientele, and in no time, they were all gone," she said, noting that canned Lysol is out. "We just have the all-purpose or multipurpose spray, so we've been limiting that to one per person. People are buying that now and it's almost finished," she said.

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