Panic shopping ‘pointless’ say supermarket bosses

by Andy Bryenton

Social media scaremongers have made a meal of images of queues outside Dargaville’s Countdown supermarket (and other similar businesses around the country), positing that this means the store, and others like it, must be out of stock.

This kind of harmful misinformation is just the kind which supermarket company leaders struck out as early as last week, assuring people that New Zealand’s supply chain is in good order. 

The reality is that only a certain number of people are allowed inside at a time, due to the government’s rules on social distancing and mass gatherings. Stock continues to arrive daily, with plenty of food for all, and with a limit of two items per customer on many staples, it’s now impossible to hoard or panic buy in any case. 

Supermarket staff urged calm as a nationwide lockdown approaches, saying that they, and those who pack, harvest, deliver and manufacture foodstuffs will all still be at work, with rigorous health precautions taken. They ask that customers have some community spirit and common sense, keeping to safe distances and not coming out to shop if they feel ill. 

To reiterate – there will be service as normal during the lockdown. A limit of people indoors at one time may limit the number of people (customers and staff) who can be inside our shops and supermarkets during the level 4 period. 

Be patient, be good to each other, stay safe, and regard un-fact-checked information as irrelevant; err on the side of caution, not panic.