Panic buying in Switzerland: Why there's no need to stockpile
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”.
Les magasins d'alimentation Migros restent ouverts comme d'habitude. Le réaprovisionnement est quotidien.— Migros (@migros) March 16, 2020
Notre personnel vous remercient de tout ❤ pour votre strict respect des règles d'hygiène et de distanciation D'autres infos suivront sur nos différents canaux d'information pic.twitter.com/g5rBsbXEDE
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".
Unsere Lebensmittelgeschäfte und Apotheken bleiben weiterhin für euch geöffnet und wir haben die Warenverfügbarkeit sichergestellt. Notvorräte anzulegen, ist nicht nötig. pic.twitter.com/uNpU8nj43Q— Coop (@coop_ch) March 16, 2020
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.