Supermarkets see rush of customers before Janata Curfew

Supermarkets see rush of customers ahead of Janata Curfew

People scrambling to buy groceries was a common sight at many supermarkets on Friday. DH Photo/ B H Shivakumar

Despite assurances by the state and Central governments that there would be no shortage of essential commodities, several people were found hoarding provisions from supermarkets and rice traders in the city. 

While most items have gone out of stock in smaller shops, managers in bigger supermarkets said they had to do multiple rounds to the warehouse to replenish stocks.

Daily essentials such as rice, pulses and basic spices have been flying off market shelves and the quantities which people have been purchasing have been higher than usual, according to the storekeepers. Raghavendra, who owns a grocery store in Guttahalli said customers who would otherwise ask for 10 kilos of rice a month have been asking for at least two sacks each. “There is a certain panic among people. About 80% of provisions that I got for a day are sold out already,” he said, “Now, I have to make several trips to the market to meet the growing demands.”

At a supermarket in BTM Layout II Stage, most shelves that are usually full, were mostly empty on Friday morning. Such was the demand that the store had its carts filled with provisions while many customers were seen picking from them even before being  stacked. Those ordering products from online platforms as well said delivery slots extended till midnight due to the demand. “I ordered provisions and biscuits from a supermarket at Yeshwantpur. The slot given for my turn for delivery was between 10 pm and 12 midnight. The store said this was due to high demand,” said Ruchi Srivatsa, a homemaker.

While the situation might look promising now, they might have to face adverse effects a month later, fear shopkeepers. “There is a huge demand for food items now. Provisions in particular, are being brought in large quantities. Other items such as cosmetics are hardly being purchased. We have been seeing this for the past 2-4 days,” said Ismail from Xpress Home Needs at HSR Layout.

Token system

Several supermarks and shops complying with the orders of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had introduced token system to prevent sudden influx of customers and congregation of people inside the store. At the More Megastore on Bull Temple Road, the staffers were handing over tokens to consumers. Each consumer had half-an-hour to make purchases. The staffers were also spraying hand sanitisers on visitors palms during entry. Several air-conditioned supermarkets had also switched off their centralised ACs and switched over to pedestal fans to beat the heat.

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