Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Shoprite and more appeal to customers to stop panic buying
Many South African retailers are now pleading with customers to stop their coronavirus-linked stockpiling.
This comes after multiple videos and photos were taken of customers acting poorly and not considering that there are many other people that may need to also purchase the items as well.
Retailers have since sent out statements across different platforms to let customers know what measures they have put in place to ensure safety in stores as well as how they feel towards the stockpiling issue.
Here is a list of retailers:
1. Pick n Pay
Pick n Pay has announced that it will be open all its supermarkets and hypermarkets an hour earlier every Wednesday for elderly customers to shop for their groceries and essentials.
Many have raised concerns for elderly shoppers after the many scenes of violence and long ques were shown social media.
Pick n Pay said: "The initiative will start tomorrow, Wednesday 18 March 2020 and stores will be open exclusively for customers over the age of 65 years from 7 – 8am. Customers should have a valid ID to enter the store during this time."
“A special shopping hour for pensioners was a great suggestion by our online community and we very quickly worked with our stores to make this a reality,” says John Bradshaw, retail executive: marketing at Pick n Pay.
“All our actions are focused on supporting the well-being of our customers. We know that the Coronavirus is more of a threat to older people, and it is thus especially important that our older customers limit the number of times they are in busy spaces as much as possible. This dedicated shopping hour for our elderly customers will give them exclusive use of the store.”
Makro stated that customers came in and grabbed many items such as toilet paper, cleaning items and hygiene-related products to a point where the aisles have been left bare in several stores.
The company said: “Makro has various measures in place to maintain a clean and healthy environment in our stores, and we have ramped these up even further. we are dedicated to keeping our stores stocked and prices fair.
“We are working especially hard to replenish hand sanitisers, cleaning supplies, paper products, and other in-demand items as quickly as possible and at our everyday low prices. We are working equally hard to secure sanitising and cleaning supplies for our own use in our stores.”
Dis-Chem told customers on social media that it has been getting in large amounts of stock but unfortunately not enough to keep up with the customer’s requirements.
Due to increased local production and importation, we are hopeful that we will soon be able to meet the full demand.
Woolworths noted that they have seen an increase in sales of certain products.
It said: "We are working to meet the increase in demand and are putting in place additional measures to ensure that shelves are restocked as quickly as possible."
The company stated that it knows that having access to hygiene products such as hand sanitisers and disinfectants are extremely important to their customers.
It said: "We are working hard to get products to our stores as quickly as possible and are continuously replenishing stock."
Checkers noted that it has been dispatching available stock from our distribution centres to stores as a priority.
The company said, "Our buyers are working closely with suppliers to try and ensure that we meet the increase in demand for hygiene products and that stores receive stock as soon as possible. Our newly launched online and click-and-collect services are at full capacity and our staff and suppliers are working day and night to keep the nation supplied.
The Shoprite Group is appealing to customers to only buy what they need in the wake of concerns over coronavirus-linked stockpiling. It also assures customers that it is doing everything in its power to restock shelves as quickly as possible and that warehouses have stock available.
"The gaps which are now evident on our shelves and those of other supermarkets are because of the unprecedented demand as a result of fear over the effect of the coronavirus, but we have new stock arriving regularly and we are working around the clock to keep shelves stocked," Pieter Engelbrecht, CEO of the Shoprite Group said.
“Customers can be assured that we work with suppliers locally and across the globe to track and monitor orders and shipments to make the necessary provision for the current increase in consumer demand in sanitary, hygiene and baby products, dry pasta, UHT milk and some tinned vegetables.
The CEO of Shoprite added that he appeals to customers to please think before they buy and only buy what their families need so that others are not left without much-needed items. If we all shop as we normally do, our stores will soon return to normal and there will not be empty shelves.
Written by: Gabriella Steyn.