Panic buying in Switzerland: Why there's no need to stockpile

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Panic buying in Switzerland: Why there's no need to stockpile
There is no food shortage at Swiss supermarkets, retailers say. Photo: AFP

After Switzerland's Federal Council announced sweeping measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus on Friday, Swiss press and social media posted photos in recent days of empty shelves in the country’s supermarkets. But is there really a reason to worry?


Supermarkets in certain locations had been partially emptied of certain non-perishable items, as panic-buying resulted in food shortages in some stores.

Canned and frozen products, toilet paper, flour, sugar, and soap were particularly scarce.

Migros spokesman Tristan Cerf even went on RTS television to offer his apologies to Swiss consumers. “It was an exceptional situation but there is currently no risk of a general shortage, and there is no need to build up large stocks”, he said.

“We will continue to deliver and fill the shelves”, Cerf added. "Our warehouses are fully stocked and distribution is assured”.

A spokesperson for Aldi told RTS that the stores initially experienced delivery difficulties, particularly from Italian suppliers. But the missing items had been replaced with alternative products and the supermarkets are now supplied daily with the complete assortment.

A representative for Coop also said the chain is “doing everything possible to ensure the availability of goods".

Even though the Federal Council declared state of emergency on Monday, closing all shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment and leisure facilities throughout Switzerland until April 19th, food stores and pharmacies will remain open.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Switzerland declares state of emergency over coronavirus



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