Supermarkets impose limits to stop panic buying

A notice at Kirk Market informs customers of the new restrictions.
A notice at Kirk Market informs customers of the new restrictions.

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Cayman’s major supermarkets are imposing purchase limits on most items in their stores in an effort to prevent people from panic-buying.

Foster’s Supermarket, Priced Right, Kirk Market, and Hurley’s Marketplace agreed to put limits in place across all of their stores.

The measures, announced in a joint statement Saturday, include a limit of two products per customer on the entire grocery, frozen food and health and beauty care departments. Meat, seafood, dairy, deli and bakery departments are unaffected.

That means, for example, one shopper cannot buy more than two packs of Quaker Instant Oats, according to the statement.

The retailers say the supply lines remain open and the aim of the limits is to stop people from panic buying and hoarding goods.

“While this limit may seem like it could be cause for panic, it’s not,” the statement read.

“Shipments are still coming in multiple times a week and the supermarkets are still sourcing product from any quality source we can.

“We’ve come together to help ensure product is available for as many people as possible during this uncertain time.

“Putting the product limits in place stops panic buying and should keep products on the shelf longer. In speaking with our suppliers, we will continue to get product and shipping lines continue to say that the ships will sail.”

The four retailers say the measures have been driven by high customer demand for disinfectants and certain grocery items, which has put a strain on manufacturing and supply chains.

They also urged people to examine their shopping and consumption habits and urged families to allocate a ‘designated shopper” to reduce the number of people going to the store. They recommend maintaining social distancing within their outlets and using cards rather than cash where possible.

“While the uncertainty around COVID-19 remains, customers can rest assured that the supermarkets in Cayman are taking action to keep shelves stocked and stores clean for customers. We’re committed to providing the best service possible, and we ask that the community remain calm, think rationally and use proper hygiene practices throughout the day.”

Full coverage: Coronavirus

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