Pictures of empty shelves being shared on social media have become a common sight across the world as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. Supermarkets will keep stocking the shelves, but customers must play their part.
Supermarkets will definitely remain open. And they won’t be closing any time soon. They might even be open for longer than usual. In the world that existed before the novel coronavirus changed everything, supermarkets and grocery stores probably felt like mundane enough places to many in the richer parts of the world. Now, their intrinsic importance to peoples’ lives grows by the day.
However, fears over lockdowns and the implications of the pandemic have led to panic buying and hoarding in many parts of the world. Images of empty shelves, people fighting over toilet roll and long lines of people waiting to enter supermarkets have circulated on social media in recent days. Supermarkets typically are chain stores, which rely on their parent companies’ supply chains and logistic centers, in tandem with delivery companies. While the images shared on social media and the occasional frenzies in certain places will inevitably spook some, there is currently no serious problems in the supply of groceries across Germany and beyond.
When people start panic buying, supermarkets might run out of their stocks available at the time and therefore, the sight of empty racks at supermarkets does not necessarily mean there is a shortage of food in the country.
So, the overwhelming message to consumers is: Don’t panic. In these strange times we all suddenly find ourselves in, supermarkets have become more than places to buy food in. They are now beacons of normality in an increasingly surreal world. If consumers continue to behave normally in them, it ought to stay that way.