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Reduction in panic-buying

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SCENES of panic-buying in Jersey’s supermarkets have now subsided – with pressure on food supply chains starting to ease – retailers have said.

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Prior to the stricter lockdown rules announced earlier this week, shelves in some of the Island’s stores were stripped bare of goods such as toilet rolls, hand wash, pasta and other long-life foods.

The public’s initial reaction caused some shops to put restrictions on the number of certain items shoppers could purchase at any one time.

A spokesman for retailer SandpiperCI said: ‘Marks and Spencer, Morrisons and Iceland are settling into the pace of the current crisis.

‘Pressure on food supply chains is beginning to ease. However, food sales remain brisk. Virtually all shoppers are adhering to social-distance arrangements, including how many shoppers can access each store at any one time.

‘Smaller local stores are seeing an increase in business, which we are assuming is because more people are based at home. Looking forward, in anticipation of more absent staff due to self-isolation and illness, we’ve taken on extra staff to fill in where necessary.’

Managing director of Tesco Alliance Andrew Bagot said there had been a drop in panic-buying at their stores and praised the public for abiding by new rules. He also thanked his staff for their continued good work in tough circumstances.

Waitrose has now stopped capping the number of items of fresh food people can buy after previously restricting the purchase of things such as meat, fish and poultry at three items per customer.

And in Co-op stores, caps have also been lifted. Chief executive Mark Cox said: ‘After the initial period of people buying more items, that has slowed now across our stores.

‘We have seen an increase in shopping at smaller stores, with people shopping closer to home, and now we have taken restrictions off items.

‘This is because more people are buying for others and people are also buying to give to food banks.’

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