Buying situations in hypermarkets are normal, supply chain intact: PACP

SALALAH: Amid unconfirmed reports of panic buying by the residents following coronavirus fears and unfounded alarm of supply chain getting affected, the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) ruled out any such situation and confirmed that everything was normal. A senior official of the PACP said the buying behaviour in all the hypermarkets was normal as all of them are having good stock and supply chain is fully intact.
Commenting on some unconfirmed reports of panic buying by people, Ali Salem al Basrawi, In-charge of Dhofar chapter of the PACP, said there had been no reports of panic buying from any of the commercial establishments in Dhofar and he asserted that the Authority staff members were visiting and inspecting all such places on regular basis.
“I personally visited many of the places and found that there has been no mass buying at any place. I want to confirm that things are quite normal,” he said.
The PACP, according to him, has inspection teams which keep an eye on consumer protection. The teams have been regularly visiting the hypermarkets and other commercial establishments where bulk buying is involved.
Manager of a hypermarket in Salalah, however, said there had been a demand for grocery items on the weekend. He found 10 to 15 per cent more demand on grocery items on weekends as most the people schedule their shopping day on one of the weekends.
“So there is no point attributing any reason for such kind of demand. It is quite normal. Moreover, Ramadhan is approaching. There will be a natural demand for grocery items, as some people buy things in advance to avoid the rush. It is a matter of one month when people will be busy shopping for Ramadhan,” he said.
Another hypermarket manager in central Salalah ruled out any rush behaviour among the buyers and said, “in fact, I am finding even less footfall in my hypermarket as people have been avoiding going to places to avoid any exposure’’.
He admitted that there has been a big demand for sanitisers and people are seen carrying small sanitisers even in their pockets. “We have been maintaining good supply and convincing our customers to go for other brands if the brand of their choice is not available due to some reasons’’. A local resident said he did hear about mass buying at hypermarkets from someone, but on his visit at one of the hypermarkets, he found everything normal and availability of all sorts of grocery items.
He advised not to believe unconfirmed social media reports and better check from authentic sources.