No panic buying at stores but buyers show anxiety as 6-day lockdown starts in Delhi

Retailers in the National Capital on Monday said they witnessed anxiety buying to an extent at their stores after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown.

People stocked up staples, processed food, ready to eat and immunity-boosting products in the past couple of days, according to retailers. However, customers have not panicked unlike the last lockdown and as they are assured of their supply and retailers are able to deliver goods at their doorstep after receiving orders either online, through apps and even after a telephone call, in which some are promising same-day delivery.

Retailers, who have learnt their lessons in the last nationwide lockdown a year ago, are better equipped from their learnings and have sufficient stocks. “With the announcement of almost week-long curfew in Delhi, we are witnessing anxiety buying at our stores in Delhi today.

We have been witnessing a surge in demand for essentials, processed food, ready to eat and immunity-boosting products in the past couple of days and expect this trend to continue,” METRO Cash and Carry India MD and CEO Arvind Mediratta told PTI. To help the buyer, METRO Cash and Carry have increased visibility for COVID-related articles and have ensured adequate stock availability in critical articles.

“We prioritise the health and safety of our customers and employees and customers, and follow a 30-step stringent safety measures at all our stores that includes social distancing and other requisite hygiene precautions,” he said. While Biz Bazaar said there was no panic buying this time, as people are assured of supply this time through online orders.

“This time people are not panicked like the previous lockdown, which was a year before. Earlier people were fearing that they would not be able to get the goods, but now the customers have realised that they can get through home delivery,” said a Biz Bazaar spokesperson.

He also assured that the proper stocks would be available at the stores and would be delivered at customers doorstep after getting orders online or calling at stores. V-Mart Retail CMD Lalit Agarwal said that though the recent surge in Covid-19 cases and restrictions would impact the business but assured availability of goods. “There is no panic buying at stores this time as people are assured that they are not going to face any difficulty. This time we have anticipated of lockdown and the availability of goods would be higher than the last time,” he said.

Announcing the lockdown in the city earlier in the day, Kejriwal said it was necessary to prevent the health system of Delhi from collapsing under the increasing number of patients as there is an acute shortage of medicines, beds, ICUs and oxygen. In its order, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said up to 50 people will be permitted to attend weddings, but they will have to show soft or hard copies of the marriage invitation cards. For funerals, 20 people will be allowed, it said.

It further said essential services will be allowed during the lockdown, but private offices and other establishments like shops, malls, weekly markets, manufacturing units, educational and coaching institutes, cinema halls, restaurants, bars, assembly halls, auditoriums, public parks, sport complexes, gyms, spas, barber shops, saloons and beauty parlours will remain closed.

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