COVID-19 scare: Retails, e-stores running out of groceries

New Delhi: The coronavirus pandemic has created panic amongst the public, with people stocking up their shelves with essential supplies. This is creating a shortage in retail stores.

The impact can be witnessed in states across the nation with many retail stores reporting a steep rise in customers as they have been placing huge orders over the past two-to-three days.

At the same time, online stores such as Big Basket and Amazon Prime Now are experiencing a similar issue with longer turnaround time.

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 “I tried to place an order for dry goods today to be delivered tomorrow but was informed that delivery will be delayed. Earlier I was able to get things delivered within a two-hour window,” said Raashi Sehgal, a resident of Delhi’s Saket area.

Meanwhile, stocks are running out in Gurgaon malls. In the Safal store in DLF-5, employees said that their stock, which normally would last a full day, is now running out within three hours since the beginning of this week.

“We get fresh stock every morning and have been getting the same quantity as always, but the surge of demand each morning has been overwhelming. Things like onion and garlic, which last longer, run out by 10 am. People are buying things in bulk, everyone is worried,” said an employee at the Safal store.

“At our store, we have today started the practice of allowing only two people inside the shop at a time, in order to avoid a gathering of several people. We have also started using masks and have placed a sanitizer at our counter for people to use,” he added.

At the Le Marche store on Golf Course Road, essential supplies like cooking oil, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, disinfectants and milk are in short supply.

“People have been buying things like flour and milk in bulk since Monday. The situation was especially bad on Wednesday after it was announced that all shopping malls would be shut. While our store will remain open since the order doesn’t apply to supermarkets, people were either confused or concerned that the stock would run out,” said a shopkeeper.

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