SHOPPERS have been reassured that supermarkets will continue to “run smoothly” throughout the coronavirus crisis – despite images of empty shelves in local stores this week.
Asda’s Morley store, on Howley Park Road, reportedly ran out of toilet paper on Saturday as residents rushed to stockpile supplies amid fears of an imminent ‘lockdown’ due to the spread of the virus, known as COVID-19.
Supermarkets in Batley sold out of hand sanitiser this week, with supplies of dry pasta also running low.
But the British Retail Consortium, a spokesgroup for major retailers, has moved to cool fears, maintaining supermarkets are “well-versed” to deal with increased demand.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “Our members are working hard to ensure consumers have access to the products they need.
“Even when there are challenges, retailers are well-versed in providing effective measures to keep retail sites running smoothly, and they are working with suppliers to increase the supply of goods.
“Retailers are currently facing a rise in demand for certain products unprecedented outside of the Christmas period, however, this has largely been limited to hygiene and longer shelf-life products.
“The BRC and its members are also working with the Government to find ways to mitigate the impact of coronavirus. Together we are looking at ways of supporting all consumers, including those who are self-isolating.
“The BRC has given government a list of regulations where relaxation would ease pressure in the supply chain, including extending drivers’ hours and giving flexibility on delivery times to stores.”
She added: “Meanwhile, we urge all customers to follow Public Health England’s advice: to wash hands frequently with hot water and soap for 20 seconds, or use alcohol hand gel.”