Super Value owner Rupert Roberts yesterday advised Bahamians to stop panic shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Yes, there’s panic shopping and we don’t understand it,” Roberts told The Nassau Guardian.
“Why is the consumer filling up their pantries and filling up our bank account when they’re going to need that money? We’ve proven to them that every time they move our inventory we put it back that day or that night.
“Our warehouse is full. We have three months of inventory on order and that there is no need for panic shopping. It’s unnecessary. It really disrupts the system to panic shop.”
In recent weeks, Bahamians have been rushing grocery stores across the country in an attempt to fill up on supplies as the global crisis escalates.
Shoppers have stocked up on hand sanitizers, toilet tissue, water and other essential items.
As a result, items like hand sanitizer have been difficult to find on New Providence.
Asked whether his stores had sufficient supplies of the items, Roberts told The Guardian, “We will order what we’ve overestimated of hand sanitizer and wipes and masks and alcohol. We were ordering alcohol in 4,000 case lots. We can sell it if we can get it.”
He added, “The last two weeks, we did more than Christmas weeks without the big-ticket items of hams and turkeys.
“They’ve really been panic shopping. You know it’s more than hurricane shopping like I say…and I really expect it to continue.”
He said sales have increased by 50 to 60 percent.
“You see, percentages can be funny things like on Sunday mornings they can go in the hundreds,” he said.
On Monday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis imposed a 24-hour national curfew in an attempt to contain the number of COIVD-19 cases in The Bahamas, where there have only been five confirmed.
He also ordered that businesses determine the number of individuals who are permitted in an establishment “at any one time by permitting one person for every 30 square feet of store space”.
Yesterday, Roberts said he is following the prime minister’s orders.
He noted that only 100 shoppers will be allowed in his 40,000 square foot Cable Beach location.