(ABOVE: ShopRite Hoboken, 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 12)
Call it panic buying, call it being prepared—either way, stores are emptying out as crowds begin to stock up for an undetermined amount of time amid the growing spread of Coronavirus.
Hoboken’s ShopRite has bare shelves and full parking lots:
A few minutes ago @GovMurphy recommended against public gatherings of 250 people or more due to #COVID19 #coronavirus.
Wonder if that extends to the Hoboken ShopRite.
Just now: pic.twitter.com/9wtidjCgPj
— Scott Fallon (@NewsFallon) March 12, 2020
Meanwhile Trader Joe’s is seeing some pretty long lines.
Trader Joe’s in Hoboken right now 🤯 pic.twitter.com/K67yjQTX7h
— HobokenGirl.com (@thehobokengirl) March 12, 2020
Fears over disruption in supply chains has prompted a degree of unnecessary bulk purchasing. Ideally, residents want to make sure they have enough supplies for two weeks. It might make sense to plan out a list and make sensible purchases, rather than impulse grabbing whatever is left on the shelves.
Residents are advised to stock up on essentials, including:
- non-perishable goods (pasta, rice, beans)
- items for the freezer (meats, prepared foods)
- cleaning supplies
While the bigger stores are seeing heavy traffic, anecdotal accounts indicate that shopping at smaller markets and bodegas has been less daunting.
In response to reports of possible price gouging, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has said, “Given the State of Emergency declared by the Governor, excessive price increases (above 10% of normal cost) are now strictly prohibited. If you believe a business has unfairly raised prices given COVID-19, or if you were the target of a scheme, I encourage you to immediate file a complaint online at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or call 973-504-6240, as recommended by the State of New Jersey.”