Singapore

FairPrice imposes limits on purchases of some essential items

Singapore's largest supermarket chain FairPrice yesterday started imposing purchase limits on essential items to ensure all customers would be able to buy them, even as calm was restored at certain supermarket branches across Singapore after a weekend of frenzied shopping.

Customers at FairPrice outlets were informed via a notice that each person could buy up to only four packs of paper products such as toilet paper and facial tissues, two bags of rice and four pillow packets of instant noodles.

Each person can also buy up to $50 worth of vegetables.

"We urge customers to buy only what they need and not to stockpile," the notice read.

Madam Jenny Tan, 50, a housewife who was shopping at the FairPrice outlet at Square 2 in Novena, bought one pack of rice among other groceries.

"The new limits are good - they will prevent items from going out of stock so quickly, so people who need them can still buy."

Sheng Siong, another supermarket chain, said it will not be limiting customers' purchases, but urged shoppers to exercise restraint.

SUPPLY INCREASED

After Singapore elevated its disease outbreak response to the coronavirus on Friday evening to code orange, indicating a moderate to high public health impact, people rushed to stock up on essentials such as rice and toilet paper over the weekend.

Yesterday, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing told reporters at a walkabout in Jurong that supermarket chains have increased the supply runs to ensure shelves remain stocked.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has also called on Singaporeans to stay united and for the nation to overcome the stressful time together.

It appears the reassurances have paid off.

Yesterday, The Straits Times visited seven outlets of FairPrice, Sheng Siong and Giant supermarkets across the island, and found a general mood of calm at the stores in Pasir Ris, Serangoon, Thomson, Novena and Bishan.

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