Supermarket shelves across England were stripped down this past weekend before the country entered a second national lockdown.
Pictures of quick queues and loaded carts were snapped in stores across the country on Sunday as panic buyers flocked to stock up on supplies.
Under the nationwide lockdown, food stores, supermarkets, garden centers and some other retailers that provide essential goods and services will be allowed to remain open. However, restaurants, bars, pubs and “non-essential stores” should be closed.
Hundreds of shoppers lined up outside Leicester Costco on Sunday morning, just hours after the prime minister announced that Brits would be instructed to “stay home” until December 2.
Meanwhile, a winding flow of people lined up outside IKEA in Batley, West Yorkshire, trying to stock up on essentials before spending a month inside.
At Sainsbury’s in Weston-super-Mare, toilet tissue shelves were left empty, in agonizing echoes of scenes captured during the first national lockdown in the spring.
The hashtag “panic buying” gained traction on Twitter throughout the day, as people shared their despair over the selfish actions of others.
One disappointed user wrote: “Panic buying hurts vulnerable people – be gentle instead.
“There’s no need to do that. You can buy from local stores and markets as well as giants and online with next-day delivery. #StayHome #shoplocal.”
Another noted that “supermarkets do not close as they did not shut down in the first place. Stop buying the panic that leaves others without and potentially leads to more food waste in the process. More! “
Others shared footage of shoppers moving under multiple packages from the toilets, commenting indignantly, “I think they didn’t learn from last time.”
But singer James Blunt shed light on the situation by tweeting his new book.
He posted a link that wrote: “If you missed your bathroom cycle while #panicbuying, my book will be out this Thursday.”
Large retailers have added to their online capabilities during the pandemic in an effort to keep up with demand.
At the end of September, Tesco said its weekly delivery slots had doubled from 600,000 weekly delivery slots in March to 1.5 million.
British Retail Consortium (BRC) Food and Sustainability Director Andrew Obey said last month: “Supply chains are stronger than ever, and we don’t expect any issues with the availability of food or other goods in a future lockdown.
“However, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they usually do.”
Avid music fanatic. Communicator. Social media expert. Award-winning bacon scholar. Alcohol fan.