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'No need for panic buying': Supermarkets warn consumers following 'high demand' over coronavirus

Images emerging on social media show lines of empty shelves and long queues in supermarkets.

Image: RollingNews.ie

SUPERMARKETS HAVE warned shoppers not to “panic buy” following the Government announcement earlier today, as photos and videos emerge on social media showing empty shelves and long checkout queues. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that schools, creches, and universities are closed until 29 March and all indoor gathering of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of 500 people are to be cancelled. 

Many workers will be forced to either work from home, or to take unexpected leave from work. 

In the aftermath of this announcement, consumers have begun swarming supermarkets and bulkbuying goods, raising concerns over whether supermarkets can continue to meet the unexpected demands in their supply chains. 

Photos on social media show dozens of people queuing at individual checkouts and lines of empty shelves in supermarkets across the country. 

Musgraves, the group behind SuperValu and Centra, said it was trying to keep the supply chain going so there would be no food shortages but warned consumers not to bulk-buy and to “remain calm”. 

“We are experiencing high volumes of demand but our advice to the public is that there is no need for panic buying,” a statement from the group CEO Noel Keeley said.

“Panic buying is an inconvenience to other customers, so we would reiterate the call to remain calm. We continue to work to maximise availability and are working with suppliers to keep products flowing through the system.”

tesco clearwater Tesco Clearwater in Dublin had queues out the door this afternoon.

Keeley added: “We continue to work to maximise availability and are working with suppliers to keep products flowing through the system.”

“I would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of every member of Musgrave team, our retail partners and their team who are going above and beyond for our customers. We would also like to thank the general public for their patience during this time.”

A statement from Retail Excellence also reiterated the same sentiments, warning customer that there are no issue in the supply chain at present. 

Cafes, restaurants and bars will remain open over the coming weeks but the Government has asked members of the public to restrict movements, and for establishment owners to take necessary precautions. 

Graeme McQueen, Head of Communications at Dublin Chamber is encouraging the public not to bulk-buy and continue shopping as normal. 

“We’d encourage people to keep calm when it comes to grocery shopping. This is a public health issue, not a supply chain issue,” he said. 

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-12 at 16.19.45 Many parents posted on social media this evening about not finding what they needed in their local supermarket. Credit: S O'Donovan.

“The stock-piling of food is not necessary. Shops are staying open and stocks will continue to be replenished over the coming days and weeks. The majority of cafes and restaurants will also remain open.

“Our advice would be for people to shop for food as they normally would. This will ensure there is plenty to go round.”

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