Excessive purchases of basic food products led to the first restrictive measures by some food chain stores. The restrictions, aimed at encouraging rational consumption, can range from 6 litres of oil to 12 litres of milk.
Some retailers have decided to impose a limit on the purchase of essential products, such as oil, sugar and flour, to prevent abuse and ensure regular supply to all consumers. The list of products includes long-life milk and non-carbonated water, all due to the fact that in recent days some supermarkets have been “cleaned up” off products by shoppers who fear a looming epidemic of the coronavirus.
The Minister of Commerce, Rasim Ljajic, said on Sunday that citizens need not fear a shortage of basic food products, as the Ministry visited the distribution centres and confirmed that there are sufficient quantities of food products.
He warned that we could only create problems if we were to buy products indiscriminately. The daily appeals made by the relevant state authorities, producers and retailers urging people not to make unnecessary supplies had no effect on irresponsible individuals. That is why, at times, the shelves in some shops have been emptied out and some supermarkets have decided to curb this panic by imposing restrictions.
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The Delhaize supermarket chain, for example, has limited the purchase to six and a half litre bottles of water, six litres of oil, 6 kg of flour and sugar and up to 12 litres of long-life milk. In another hypermarket chain, the limit is lower and it is not possible to buy more than 5 kg of flour, sugar and oil.
The measure, which is temporary, involves the limited purchase of certain items in order to avoid the potential abuse of irrational large purchases.
The Mercator S chain, on the other hand, has indicated that it will not make a decision to limit shoppers independently: “We are coordinating our activities with the orders of the line ministries and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and if they consider such measures necessary, we will implement them”.
Univerexport shops also have no restrictions at the moment. This retail chain says that they will act according to the situation and to give all consumers the opportunity to buy the necessary quantity of goods.
Speaking of the supply of basic food in an emergency, Minister Ljajic reiterated that there is, even theoretically, no reason for shortages and concern either in the wholesale trade or in small shops.
(Vecernje Novosti, 16.03.2020)
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