empty shelves in supermarkets but no shortage (yet)

Pasta, rice, hygiene products … While the coronavirus has killed four people in France, some stores note a rush of customers who come to stock up on basic necessities in the event of confinement linked to the epidemic.

“Robbed” departments

At Auchan, a spokesperson explained that several of the brand’s hypermarkets had been “robbed”, with shelves emptied of their products, “and especially those of pasta”. The phenomenon has been observed “everywhere in France, and not only in areas where cases of infected people have been reported”, like the Paris region, the North but also in the South, added this spokesperson for the northern brand.

The two entities dedicated to the brand’s “drive”, ChronoDrive and AuchanDrive, saw increases in orders this weekend “around 50 to 70%, even 100% in the Creil area”, in Oise, one of the two main centers of spread of the virus in France (36 cases).

Customers met by France Bleu Azur in a supermarket in Alpes-Maritimes testify like Maryline for whom “You never know what can happen” or Stéphane who believes that no one can anticipate the coronavirus epidemic: “We are planning. Normally. we buy two packs of pasta, there we took a dozen “.

Customers robbed supermarket shelves in the Alpes-Maritimes © Radio France
Sonia Ghobri

In the Paris region, a seller in a supermarket in Aulnay-sous-Bois met by France Bleu Paris confirmed: “It’s related to the coronavirus and everything we hear … people robbed the store this weekend”.

Almost empty shelves in a supermarket in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis)
Almost empty shelves in a supermarket in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis) © Radio France
Hajera Mohammad

Other products taken by storm: hydro-alcoholic gel to disinfect hands and masks. These rays are sometimes empty and people have difficulty finding them.

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Some traders play on fears to induce stocks. This Monday, the photo of an ad in a Leclerc store went around the canvas. “Maybe we should store rice and pasta?”. A process that outraged Eric Bothorel, LREM deputy for Côtes-d’Armor on Twitter.

“Customers have nothing to fear”

Is there a risk of a shortage? No, according to an Auchan spokesperson contacted by AFP: “We have anticipated our stocks, customers have nothing to fear”, even if it “This type of behavior, completely irrational, can be a source of shortage since it disrupts the supply process”.

This high demand has resulted “partial stock-outs” but without risk of shortage, the situation having been “anticipated”, we assured.

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