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Suppliers confident of meeting demand

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A bulk supplier had to limit entry for shoppers yesterday as panic buying over the coronavirus pandemic entered its second week.

The management admitted a few people at a time at A&M Bulk on Devil's Hole Hill in Smith's, as bottled water, canned goods and toilet paper flew off the shelves.

Octavio Mendonca, one of the managers, said the mood was like “after a hurricane”.

Seth Stutzman, president of The MarketPlace, said the supermarket chain had “all hands on deck” to cope with increased demand.

Toilet paper and water are high on people's shopping lists.

Mr Stutzman said: “We've had a ton of shipping containers this week, [with] obviously, more coming in next week. We're keeping up with demand and providing a safe environment.”

He added: “We're trying to encourage customers to shop sensibly for what they need. We have more coming, so there is no need to be panicked.”

However he added that “challenges” continued with keeping up with demand for hand sanitisers.

He also thanked staff for working extra hours to cope.

Mr Stutzman, originally from Texas, said he was working under self-quarantine, after flying back to the island on Sunday, in the wake of tighter travel restrictions.

A member of staff for Phoenix Stores pharmacies added that there had been a run on thermometers.

Andrew Mackay, the general manager of Gorham's hardware in Pembroke, said toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitiser were in heavy demand.

Zach Moniz, the manager of the Lindo's Group of companies, added: “Of course, we are doing all we can to ensure supply remains good.

“It has been difficult to keep the shelves with produce on them with the way people have been shopping, but we are catching up slowly.

“The shipping lines are still open — we will see some shortages of certain items like hand sanitisers, but, generally speaking, the food items should still come as normal. We don't anticipate any major shortages when it comes to food.”

Mr Moniz said, earlier this week, that demand had surged from last Thursday as precautions for the potential arrival of Covid-19 were ramped up by the Government.

Stocking up: customers shop at A&M Bulk Store on Devil's Hole Hill in Smith's (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Stocking up: customers shop at A&M Bulk Store on Devil's Hole Hill in Smith's (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Stocking up: customers shop at A&M Bulk Store on Devil's Hole Hill in Smith's (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Stocking up: customers shop at A&M Bulk Store on Devil's Hole Hill in Smith's (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 18, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 18, 2020 at 11:22 am)

Suppliers confident of meeting demand

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