Coronavirus: Grocers issue stockpiling plea and stores close worldwide

Coronavirus has prompted panic buying, leaving empty shelves

The UK’s big grocers appealed for calm over the weekend as shoppers continued to empty shelves in coronavirus stockpiling, while around the world-leading retailers closed stores en masse as the crisis bit.

In an unprecedented joint letter, supermarket groups attempted to reassure customers about stock availability and urged them to shop considerately. The appeal came as grocers restricted sales of items such as hand sanitiser, with Aldi limiting customers to a maximum of four items across all products.

They took action as shops were shuttered internationally by some of the industry’s biggest names. Apple has closed all its stores outside China until March 27, Nike branches will cease trading in markets including the US and western Europe until the same date, Walmart is trading reduced hours in more than 2,000 US branches and fashion giant Inditex, owner of Zara, is shutting all branches in its home market of Spain.

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