Even before Tuesday’s Alberta Health announcement about new restrictions to curb rising COVBID-19 numbers, Albertans were rushing to stock up at stores across the province.
However, experts say there’s no need to start the stockpiling because retailers have adapted their supply chains to meet the increased demand from customers.
John Graham with the Retail Council of Canada said the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were an important lesson for store owners.
“The supply chain remains very strong,” said Graham.
“Unlike the spring, grocery stores have had plenty of time to adjust to the shift from away-from-home to in-home consumption.”
Graham said there may be a need for consumers to adjust how they shop, but the quantity of what they’re buying doesn’t need to change. In short — you don’t need to rush out and buy a year’s supply of toilet paper.
“Look at opportunities to shop off-peak hours,” said Graham. “Grocery stores and most retail stores are very quiet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in any given week.”
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi gave a more pointed answer when asked about reports of people buying more than needed.
“Stop with the hoarding. We learned our lesson in March, there is plenty of toilet paper to go around.
“Be thoughtful… and don’t massively increase prices.”
The RCC has also launched its Shop Early, Shop Safe campaign, which urges people to plan out their holiday shopping and take advantage of online delivery or curbside pickup.
“Make sure that you’re not putting off your shopping this holiday season to the very last few days,” said Graham.
“We want to create a safe environment with ample physical distancing for the betterment of everyone.”
The RCC is also encouraging Canadians to shop solo this year as a way to minimize crowds, along with following protocols that stores may have in place to ensure physical distancing.