NTUC FairPrice Implements Buying Quotas, Urges Customers To Buy Responsibly

It took just hours after Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the country will go into lockdown for many Singaporeans to flock to supermarkets to stock up on groceries.

Long queues were again spotted at supermarkets across the island on Monday (16 Mar) night, the same night that Mr Muhyiddin made the announcement.

The scenes were reminiscent of the panic buying that took place shortly after Singapore announced that we were going into DORSCON Orange.

S’poreans Are Wiping Out Basic Supplies From Supermarkets In Panic After DORSCON Orange Alert

Buying quotas on some hot items

And similar to how FairPrice limited purchases on items like toilet paper, instant noodles, rice and vegetables after the last bout of panic buying, the supermarket chain has done it again — but on even more items.

The morning after Malaysia’s announcement, FairPrice implemented buying quotas on some of the “hot commodities” that customers have been stocking up on.

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Move to prevent stockpiling, ensure customers buy only what they need

According to the notice, the quotas were implemented to prevent stockpiling and to ensure customers buy only what they need.

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It will also help ensure that as many customers as possible get their hands on the popular items.

The 6 types of products the quotas were set on were:

  1. Paper products (toilet paper, facial tissue, kitchen towels): 4 units per customer
  2. Instant noodles/pastas: 2 units per customer
  3. Rice: 2 bags per customer
  4. Vegetables: $30 per customer
  5. Fresh poultry: $30 per customer
  6. Eggs: 3 packs of 10 or 1 tray of 30 per customer

While restrictions of the first 4 items were put in place previously in early February, the quotas on poultry and eggs are new.

The supermarket urged shoppers to stay calm and shop responsibly.

Increasing frequency of delivery runs

In a separate press release on its website, FairPrice Chief Executive Seah Kian Peng assured Singaporeans that there would be sufficient stock despite Malaysia’s lockdown.

It will also be increasing the number of delivery runs from their warehouse, to ensure outlets are sufficiently stocked.

Thankfully, Singaporeans seem to have heeded the advice of our leaders and the level of panic isn’t as high this time round, the statement said:

Compared to the earlier panic buying… when Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) was raised to Orange… checkout queues were more orderly and customers were also buying more responsibly.

The purchase limits that were introduced during panic-buying 1.0 had gained “positive and encouraging” feedback from customers, it said.

Perhaps that’s why the supermarket chain has implemented them once again, and with such swiftness.

No amount of stockpiling will be enough if Singaporeans shop irresponsibly

We’re glad that FairPrice is acting quickly to curb the panic buying that ensued following the lockdown announcement. Let’s hope other supermarkets in Singapore will follow suit.

As Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post late on Monday night, “no amount of stockpiling will be sufficient” if Singaporeans do not buy in a responsible way.

Dealing with Covid-19 is stressful enough, let’s not add to the anxiety by panic buying and exerting unnecessary pressure on our supply chain.

Featured image adapted from Twitter