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Why are people panic buying?

(210 Posts)
Brokenchair1 Sun 01-Nov-20 09:18:00

I'm genuinely confused. People were queuing at some local supermarkets from yesterday afternoon, even before announcement. All delivery slots got booked up in my local area after the announcement. Supermarkets are still open. We can still drive to Sainsburys or Tesco or wherever and do a big shop like before, or walk/bus to local shop for those who don't drive.

My understanding is that in England stores will not cordon off non essentials anyway like in Wales. I plan to do one big shop a week as always at my local supermarket, wearing a mask and social distancing like I have been doing for the last few months. This is still allowed isn't it?

So why are people panic buying?

OP’s posts: |
MonaLisaDoesntSmile Sun 01-Nov-20 09:22:52

Because people are idiots who learned nothing last time.

Bambooble Sun 01-Nov-20 09:24:14

I don't know, seems fairly normal around here- no queues, plenty of stuff on shelves, lots of delivery slots, although I expect as soon as a few people start it will esculate.

NoParticularPattern Sun 01-Nov-20 09:27:20

Because they’re selfish knobs who also seem to like to look down their noses at anyone who actually has a genuine need to buy a large quantity of stuff. I got shamed on my local Facebook page last time for buying 4 loaves of bread at once. What they failed to realise was that I only shop fortnightly so 4 loaves of bread isn’t in any way excessive for 4 people. Oh and I have bought that same shopping every fortnight for the last few years. I need to go shopping tomorrow having been stuck at home for 3 weeks because of a road closure and then car issues. I’m absolutely dreading the looks I’ll get!

Sparklingbrook Sun 01-Nov-20 09:27:24

Panic buying is as contagious as COVID I think. Now the lockdown has been announced from Thursday the shops will be heaving from today until Wednesday despite the supermarkets remaining open anyway.
People see others panic buying and join in, worried stuff will sell out presumably.

NiceGerbil Sun 01-Nov-20 09:28:46

To try and maintain a sense of control in difficult times, for a lot of people, would be my guess.

A feeling of security in an insecure/ confusing/ difficult situation.

misskatamari Sun 01-Nov-20 09:29:09

It's bonkers isn't it! I hope shops have limits in place to avoid the carnage of last time. I don't know why people are rushing for the supermarkets as we've done this before, they stayed open, you could still get you're shopping etc. How has that not been learned..? I guess people might be worried about them running out of things like last time so want to make sure they have their weekly shop in? Supermarkets need to make sure that the panic buying doesn't happen again. No one should be allowed to leave the shop with a trolley full to the brim of mounds of bog roll and pasta!

Non-essential shops I do understand people wanting to go to. Not necessarily as panic buying, but just knowing you won't be able to access them for a month. Maybe you need winter boots or your kids need new clothes, or it's a birthday next month and you want to make sure you've bought a gift etc.

I'm planning on nipping to town tomorrow to do the shopping bits I'd been planning to do this month. If it's busy though, I'll just avoid and come home, but our high street is a depressing sight at the moment anyway, so if I can support businesses there a little bit before they have to shut for a month, then I will.

Takethewinefromtheswine Sun 01-Nov-20 09:29:36

In my area they aren't. There was a queue to get into the supermarket yesterday because it is the weekend and it is busy. However, unlike you, I did not go to every shop and also check out every delivery website, so it appears you did more thorough research.

RoseAndRose Sun 01-Nov-20 09:31:21

I think that once you see media reports of panic buying, it's all to easy to get The Fear and join in.

Even though I thought everyone (unless in very insecure housing) had an extra pack of loo roll by now.

I think delivery slots will hold up better than the first surge (priority systems in place) and shops will be OK. Most people are not ECV or CV (or so we are told by the 'protect the vulnerable' brigade) and so should be OK to shop in person

PicsInRed Sun 01-Nov-20 09:31:45

We actaully have no idea what the politicians will do next, whether that be policing what people buy, or shutting public transport, or going full France lockdown. Between uncertainty around freedom of movement, and shortages caused by the "Just In Time" ordering systems (10 people buy an extra bag of pasta and there's none left today), people have been taught by experience to stock up.

People also know that at any moment they could receive a phone call telling them to remain on their property for 14 days, with no food delivery slots available.

The plebs aren't thick, they are actually behaving rationally based on what they know - which is that they know nothing and are told everything at the last moment therefore need to prepare now.

Don't blame the ordinary person for ineptitude of leadership.

GrammarTeacher Sun 01-Nov-20 09:32:23

No idea. Although I am in an Aldi queue but that's due to wanting some special buy stuff released today and sold out online coupled with insane parking. Plenty of delivery slots round here though

Sparklingbrook Sun 01-Nov-20 09:33:16

I don't see how queuing and cramming into shops with loads of other people buying stuff you don't need is maintaining a sense of control. Just anxiety inducing and adding to the stress.

The supermarkets will be open throughout. No need to shop as if they'll be shut too.

Flaxmeadow Sun 01-Nov-20 09:34:56

I could kind of understand it last time back in March, only a bit but kind of for some, but not this time no.

It's the mainly the truck drivers and retail staff I feel sorry for.

Sparklingbrook Sun 01-Nov-20 09:36:38

Yes I feel for the retail staff too. Having to deal with all the madness.

Brokenchair1 Sun 01-Nov-20 09:36:50

@takewinefromtheswine not sure what you are alluding to. There were queues outside several shops yesterday and I looked at Tesco and Ocado out of interest to see if I could get a slot, also elderly DM said she could not get a slot. I am just curious as to why people suddenly think they can't buy groceries in the manner they have done for the past few months?

I had a delivery slot booked already but will just get my usual. I get a veg box which I assume will carry on. Last lockdown it was great to support local cafes who started delivering milk/veg etc. I have a local tesco express and popped there every few days for milk/bread etc. I don't plan to change my shopping habits as I know I can both drive somewhere plus walk to local shop. I am just curious as to why it appears some people are suddenly changing their shopping habits when supermarkets are not changing the way they operate.

I do get shops with non essentials although I guess most things can be delivered via amazon these days.

OP’s posts: |
hammeringinmyhead Sun 01-Nov-20 09:38:11

Because it was an absolute pain in the arse going to about 7 shops last time looking for Calpol and paracetamol.

Porcupineinwaiting Sun 01-Nov-20 09:38:14

Some people are moving to online grocery shopping as the rates (at least where I am) are very high and they're afraid. And because the rates are very high, lots of people are self isolating and cant shop because of the virus, so they need online slots too.

A percentage of people who look like they are panic buying are probably shopping for 2 or more households (I shop for 3 so my trolley is always superfull).

Beyond that, no idea.

Sophagain Sun 01-Nov-20 09:38:24

I’m not panic buying but as soon as I heard the likely news (the middle of Friday night) I booked up three supermarket delivery slots at intervals. For me it’s just that I have a toddler and an infant and it’s a hassle getting them around the shops. I suppose it’s a bit weird to organise a months worth of food in advance but I assure you there’s no panicking involved!

NorthGirl2 Sun 01-Nov-20 09:38:29

Because they have heard everyone else is

RedRiverShore Sun 01-Nov-20 09:45:37

I have booked all my slots at Tesco and Waitrose for the next month as I have no intention of queueing at the supermarket in the cold and wet when I can get it delivered, I do most of my shopping online anyway. Nothing to do with panic buying

Lalanbaba Sun 01-Nov-20 09:47:23

It's bonkers. Supermarkets will still be open as usual. I work in one and definitely was panic buying yesterday.
On top of the usual pay day weekend which usually is busier the fact that the announcement was done yesterday I am sure that today the shopping centre will be full of people buying non essentials /Xmas presents

Bambooble Sun 01-Nov-20 09:48:59

Nah just to do with being selfish @RedRiverShore. Hopefully they will cancel people's multiple bookings like last time.

Sparklingbrook Sun 01-Nov-20 09:49:32

At least if there's a queue it means that supermarket is doing the right thing and reducing the numbers allowed in.

This pandemic has made people pretty selfish.

Charleyhorses Sun 01-Nov-20 09:49:43

Hopefully everyone is slightly better prepared this time round. I've just booked my Mums Ocado slot for 12th November so it's not as silly as last time. We can only hope!

RedRiverShore Sun 01-Nov-20 09:53:46

They never cancelled mine last time, other people can book if they want, the selfish ones are the non regular shoppers who suddenly expect slots in a crisis

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