Home > Random Rants > a rant on panic buying

a rant on panic buying

One of my current jobs is in the retail food sector where we are seeing, in the first two hours of trading every day, greater transaction numbers that we see in the same time on the heaviest day before Christmas.

Last week’s sales were a new record in value and the level of sales and custom only dies down later in the day as stocks run low. It is not a question of supply as such because there is plenty in the pipeline. The problem is that it is going out of the door in such volumes that all supermarkets are struggling to keep up.

In theory you can throw resource at the problem; we do at Christmas, but there we have a plan that has been under way since the previous Christmas finished and we have extra resource recruited, trained and available. This time we have been caught flat footed and you cannot just turn on the tap: We already work 24/7 anyway.

Christmas also has a clear profile in terms of demand and we gear up to deal with it in the most effective way, but this is a far more extreme demand pattern than Christmas. We have massive and sustained demand for products across a wider range than we do in the festive season.

There is plenty available and if people would stop stripping the shelves every morning the situation will improve. We could catch up without increasing pollution from all the extra trucks that we might otherwise have to deploy.

But more that this there would be less risk of the virus spreading if people would just shop once or twice a week. Joining the rugby scrum at your chosen supermarket each day is putting you and your loved ones at risk. You are also putting my colleagues and I, and our loved ones at risk so knock it off now.

Rant over.

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