Supermarkets to ‘ration’ groceries

| 21/03/2020 | 116 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): In the face of the continued and excessive bulk purchasing by many customers at the local supermarkets as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the owners of Kirk, Hurley’s and Foster’s supermarkets, including Priced Right, have come together to agree purchase limits for customers from Monday on almost all groceries except fresh goods and bakery items. The supermarket bosses said this was not a cause for panic but to ensure that everyone in Cayman gets a chance to buy what they need.

In a press release Saturday, the three supermarket owners said that they had no difficulties at this point sourcing most goods but this rationing is to curb the ongoing panic buying and to urge shoppers to behave logically over goods with a long shelf life.

“While we’re all still receiving multiple shipments per week, the challenges we continue to face to ensure products are on the shelves are many,” the supermarket owners said. “In an effort to ensure product is available for as many of our country’s citizens as possible, we have decided to implement… product limits across all Foster’s Supermarket, Priced Right, Kirk Market, and Hurley’s Marketplace locations.”

Shoppers will now only be allowed to buy two of any identical products per UPC (the barcode number) per customer on the entire grocery, frozen, and health and beauty care department items. However, there will be no limits on meat, seafood, produce, dairy, deli and bakery.

Explaining what this limitation means, the supermarkets said that, for example, a customer can purchase two Quaker Instant Oatmeal Original Flavor and two Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Packs because they do not have identical bar codes.

Even as shipments continue to arrive regularly, the supermarket bosses said they are also looking for more product from any quality source they can.

“We’ve come together to help ensure product is available for as many people as possible during this uncertain time,” the store owners said. “Putting the product limits in place stops panic buying and should keep products on the shelf longer. In speaking with our suppliers, we will continue to get product and shipping lines continue to say that the ships will sail. We continue to urge people to look at their shopping and consumption habits during this time, and plan for the coming weeks.”

The owners said that despite the uncertainty around COVID-19 customers can rest assured that the local supermarkets are taking action to keep shelves stocked and stores clean for customers. Asking people to remain calm, they urged customers to “think rationally and use proper hygiene practices throughout the day”.

Customers are also encouraged to designate one shopper per household to reduce the number of people in store, avoid doubling up on items, maintain safe social distancing, use a debit or credit card to pay, when possible and to sanitize hands, shopping carts and basket handles.


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Category: Business, Retail

Comments (116)

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  1. Anon says:

    Thanks for the humorous quips to lift the spirit. As Benjamin Franklin said “If we don’t hang together we will all hang separately.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank God my Breadfruit trees are covered with Breadfruits and my coconut trees are loaded-

    Will eat rundown for a while-

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Police need to shut down the fish market on waterfront. People there crowded in a herd, no social distancing, no sah

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    • Anonymous says:

      That and empty lots where third world fishermen are squatting on and are full of people. Just drive down prospect and see.

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  4. Joe B says:

    There are an equal number of those who only think of themselves and those who have the ability to think of needs of others. It’s how the world stays balanced. You can see from the comments which is which. Plan accordingly.

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  5. Cheese Face says:

    Another grade A move by the grocery store mafia.

    It’s nice to know that a single man / woman, can purchase the same amount of non perishable goods as the man / woman, who does the grocery shopping for his or her family of 5 (plus elderly relatives).

    How about you just stop people from unrealistic buying? You know, 17 packets of spaghetti? Or enough bog roll to wipe a herd of elephant’s arses who went on a bender at agave?

    I personally shop for a family of 4, and have offered to shop for my elderly parents to keep them away from what is potentially a death sentence for them. Should I be subject to the same restrictions as a single person?

    It already pains me to support some of these establishments. Please don’t force my hand any further.

    Have the stores announced any significant discounts for the people who are struggling to stay afloat?

    What a crap shoot this is.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Conversation that I overheard from a couple who barged in front of me while I was looking at the meager selection of pasta at Foster’s:

      Woman: Do we have pasta at home?
      Man: Yes. We have plenty of pasta,
      Woman: How much pasta do we have?
      Man: We have nine packs.
      Woman: We should get more.

      And, right in front of me, she grabbed the rest of the spaghetti on the shelf.

      If there is Karma in the world, this woman will gain 20 pounds of the next month.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I ran to the homestore and bulk bought tarps, ropes, outdoor bbq’s and flashlights….i may have misread the news

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  7. Anonymous says:

    The one thing that no one has mentioned is that the Covid-19 cannot survive in heat and humidity.

    CNS: No one responsible says that because it’s not true. See the WHO – COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
    There’s a lot of rubbish out there which, if people just believe it will increase the spread of COVID-19 and more people will die. Please make sure you get your information from reliable sources.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Human body is 37’F and moist.

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    • Anon says:

      2.49pm and CNS According to news reports today it has been established the rate of infection transmission is definitely lower in cold weather.

      CNS: And other news reports say the rate of infection is definitely quicker in cold weather, which makes more sense considering the fact that it’s been rapidly spreading in the UK this time of year. This is a new virus and scientists are studying it as fast as they can to see if there are patterns. I’m not disputing that there will be new information, only urging that people use credible sources.

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      • Anon says:

        According to news reports people who forward stories on social media based on unverified “news reports” are irresponsible idiots.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    When the liquor stores start rationing that’s when there’s a real crisis…

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  9. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been bulk buying feminine products. Great captive investment opportunity.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately this also stops good from happening.
    On Friday I went to Progressive Distributors with the intention of purchasing $1000 worth of canned items to take to the nearby food bank.
    They couldn’t see past the fear of hoarding and I left empty handed.

    CNS: I think in cases like this you should call ahead and talk to someone with authority to arrange an exception. What if everyone went to the stores and said they were bulk buying for a foodbank?

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  11. Lazina says:

    I have not seen anyone bulk buying. What I did ,and am seeing is wise people buying 2 weeks supplies at one time so I am able to stay away from going in the store every few days.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Which is the only safe way to play this. Forcing people to make frequent trips from their homes only raises the danger for everyone. Can everyone please get on the same page. The supermarkets may now unfortunately be forcing people to act in contravention of the advice of doctors! Why are supermarkets closed today?

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    • Anonymous says:

      bs….people should only buy what they normally buy.end of story.
      stop trying to come up with excuses for bulk buying.

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      • Andrew Jack says:

        Many households will need to buy significantly more than usual from the supermarket to eat and drink because they have numerous mouths eating three meals per day from home, rather than 1-2 meals per day from home in normal circumstances. Same applies to loo roll!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Everyone needs to be put ina position whereby they have at least two weeks food etc. at home. If we do not do that no effective lockdown will be possible!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    People bulk buying whilst others go without #caymankind

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    • Anon says:

      Stop bashing Caymankind. If we weren’t kind and accomodating we wouldn’t be overun by foreigners as we are. Hoarding is happening all over the world.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You’re welcome.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok – while I agree with your underlying sentiment, what your post does – probably unintentionally – is give the Caymanian who are hoarding a free pass on their actions because it was raised by an expat (assumedly). Make no mistake, hoarding is being done by multiple nationalities and probably more so by Caymanians (status and generational) because they tend to have homes with more storage space and are used to the hoarding instinct because of experience with hurricanes, particularly Ivan. If you change the bigoted irony attempt (#caymankind) in the original to #selfish, the original post was spot on. And that selfishness applies to all nationalities, including Caymanians.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not in Europe….there is no sights of empty shelves there!

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    • Anonymous says:

      American here. Stop with the bigoted, sophomoric comments.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    If you start to limit persons that are unable to purchase more than two items per a visit doesn’t that mean you are basically forcing me to shop every other day which would place me more at risk of catching the virus? I have animals which means they have to be fed everyday so 2 cans of dog or cat food is not going to cut it. Can’t the supermarkets just order more shipments to supply the demand?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    great stuff from the stores. people(mainly women) have created an issue out of nothing.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    like everything else with this crisis….people through their own stupidity have created the problem

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  17. Anonymous says:

    So as we just flew back in and under quarantine, how are we supposed to get more supplies.
    I can order just 2 tins of beans at in a shop am i supposed to order each day?
    Mind you the airport did not ask is anyone else lived with us.

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  18. Anon. says:

    There are limits imposed and there are people who go to Fosters every day and pick up two of the item each day, by the end of the week they have hoarded ten of the particular item.
    Ignorant and selfish.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I watched someone ask if she could buy two of different brand name TPs each. What the crap people? Get what you need, not the whole store.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been trying to buy Dettol for my first aid kit for 3 weeks now…also still trying to figure out why it’s being shelved with cleaning supplies rather than medical

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Supermarkets should have their security personnel explain people to keep distance.
    Caymanians and jamaicans still are in my face as usual.
    STAY AWAY FROM ME !!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      YOU stay away from us. Youre the ones coming from outbreak countries. I had to ask an expat to keep their distance just yesterday. Up my a$$ with their shopping on the conveyor while im still trying to put my PIN into the debt card terminal which is on a short leash.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And everyone typing their pins on the same terminal, one after another, with no protections …

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        • Anonymous says:

          Bring a wipe with you.

          • Anonymous says:

            Been looking to buy a single container of wipes for over two weeks now. Been to three different Foster’s, Kirk’s, Cost-u-Less and Priced Right and can’t buy a one. And can’t buy a single can of Lysol, or a single of hand sanitizer or even a single bottle of isopropyl alcohol to make my own hand sanitizer. Now I’m staying at home, trying to be responsible, and will limit by grocery trip to once a week. I can’t buy any of those things again, because too many people need 12 – 15 of each of those items themselves. Maybe with these limits, I will have a chance. Luckily, though, I always buy toilet paper in bulk (one big pack) and still have enough to get by for a while.

        • Anonymous says:

          Soon the supermarkets will figure out that the cards can just be tapped on the machines. Cayman time. Patience.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Only if both the card and the machine are set up for it. My debit card is, my credit card – both from Butterfield – is not. And the majority of machines are more than a couple of years old and not set up for it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Put a condom on your finger. Keep it to use for every purchase.

      • Anonymous says:

        Coming from outbreak countries. What an ignorant and urterly stupid comment. This is a global pandemic. Distance is one thing because is super markets especially everyone is running around hoarding for the apocalypse well not taking into consideration the basics to prevent it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. Calm down bro. Maybe you should go shelter in place with your own peeps. Just sayin.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    The grocery stores themselves are prepetuating the crisis but limiting alcohol, wipes, toilet paper etc.The stores have these items but are putting them on the selves in a very deliberate way. I agree the public has gone into panic mode but the store owners are equally part of the problem. We the public also need to ensure that we are not giving/handing over our rights to the goverment.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    The four persons who commented must be special individuals. 😒

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  23. Anonymous says:

    We need to do all we reasonably can to reduce our population, now!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Of course we do. Our healthcare and food supplies risk becomming overloaded and there is no way the NAU has the resources to support thousands of unemployed. Everyone should stop acting like this will be over in a few weeks. A
      longer view needs to be taken to get through this.

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      • Anonymous says:

        What people need to do is to take off their blinkers. Look outside the box focusing on viable solutions and alternatives instead of complaining and blaming others. If ever there was a time we all need to pull together as one world, rather than one nationality, its now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Covid taking care of that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, Contraception 3.19.

  24. Anonymous says:

    It is such a shame that we have to resort to these measures. For an Island that claims to have been founded on Christian values this bulk buying is incredibly selfish and thoughtless. I am thankful that the supermarkets are trying to put a stop to this. It’s just incredibly depressing that it has to be put into place. Come on Cayman we can do better than this. Think of others not just yourselves.

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  25. Tom says:

    Hey supermarkets owners…put the price like buy one toilet pack for $12 but second one is $50. That will stop selfish people buy in bulk.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Two cans of catfood per trip and so I will have to go to the store twice a day?

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  27. Say it like it is says:

    The bulk buyers are ignorant in depriving others especially those of limited means. However this selfish ignorance will not stop them unloading their spoils in their massive SUV”s and returning straight back to shop for more using a different cashier

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  28. Anonymous says:

    YES, please stop bringing your whole family to the store!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      These three seem to collude well all year round when it comes to establishing ridiculous prices for products, so this should be easy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed… one person per family should be the limit. More people in the stores just creates more problems and more potential for spread of illness.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    The end times are here. REPENT!

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