Mumbai: Barely had Prime Minister Narendra Modi finished his announcement of an immediate, nationwide lockdown on March 24, Mumbaikars, promptly flouting his instructions, hit the streets and crammed into supermarkets and stores in a frenzy of panic buying.
Despite Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's repeated assurance that grocery stores would remain open in this lockdown period, there was no calming down a panic-stricken populace, which went binge shopping.
Ahas resulted in an Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard situation for retailers. Stocks are low or have disappeared, leaving supermarket and store shelves bare-commerce suppliers ricegrower’s, Flipkart and Amazon have restricted deliveries to essential goods only.
"Prior to the lockdown, we had stocked up but clearly, it was not enough. We have run out of most products now," said a retailer. "The sudden lockdown cause buyers to panic. The state should have given a two-day window to prepare," opined another retailer.
Last week, there were long queues outside department stores, in the initial days of the lockdown. From edibles to groceries, stationery to utensils, almost every section in stores looks desolate.
"Many labourer shaves fled to their native villages. So, there is a lack of both manpower and transportation," said Ram Shinde, a transportation contractor.
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