Panicky shoppers clear out grocery shops

Bouts of frenetic shopping was witnessed at nearly almost all supermarkets in the city on Friday evening and throughout Saturday. At Rythu Bazaar in Erragadda, officials imposed a limit on purchases to stop panic buying by customers as throngs of shoppers surrounded the retailers. Tomatoes were limited to one kg per shopper.

At the supermarkets, large sections of shelves were cleaned up by afternoon. “If we have stocks at the warehouse, they will get restocked automatically as the inventory is connected to our despatch centre in Kompally,” said the manager of a supermarket in Mehdipatnam.

“I had to go to the supermarket twice to get groceries. In the morning, what I wanted to buy was over by 10 a.m., the shophands told me to come after 11.30 a.m. People are buying goods as if there is no tomorrow. I saw one person load two carts with hand wash refills. At Spencers, the parking lot was packed and people had to park on the road,” said B. Srinivas, who lives in an apartment block in Rambagh Colony.

“Polimeraas was worse. The grocery truck has been there twice today. Many vegetables and fruits carts were brought in and yet so many vegetables were already sold. Eggs were out, beans were out, peas were out,” said another shopper, Bhavana Nissima, who fretted about social distancing going for a toss as shoppers jostled to pick up stuff.

“Sales have gone up by three or four times. Groceries shelves have been cleaned up. So have the ready-to-cook food packets. But we are able to refill them within a few hours. I think we will have very low sales over the next few months as people have stocked up for at least four months,” said Vamshi, who manages a supermarket in Attapur area.

Supply of groceries and essentials are notified as essential services under the Essential Services Maintenance Act and the State can invoke the law if the situation goes out of hand.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 5:20:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/panicked-shoppers-clear-out-grocery-shops/article31131827.ece

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