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Panic buying leaves shelves empty following earthquake

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Panic buying of food and other basic supplies since Friday's earthquake have left supermarket and convenience store shelves empty throughout the capital. Traffic congestion has meant that distribution of stock has proved difficult. With electricity shortages resulting in rolling power outages across affected areas, it has become clear that the effects of the earthquake are becoming long-term ones.

In Tokyo's Minato Ward supermarkets are completely sold out of bottled water, green tea, processed food, bread, bakery items, instant meals and other goods. One shop assistant said, "There are a lot of people stockpiling water. It looks like are customers are going to be inconvenienced for a while."

In Shibuya, convenience store shelves, usually stocked with fresh goods like sandwiches and rice balls, are empty. One concerned part-timer said, "A lot of customers are asking when we're going to be receiving new stock but we really have no idea."

One store owner in Shinjuku said, "This situation reminds me of the oil crisis in the '70s. I suppose at the time we couldn't get our hands on any toilet paper, but this time it's water and instant food that's in short supply."

On Saturdays and Sundays, Ginza has traditionally been transformed into a so-called "pedestrian paradise." However, given the chaotic state of the roads and the urgent need to replenish basic supplies, the pedestrian paradise was canceled on March 12 and 13. Mitsukoshi, Matsuya, Matsuzakaya and other large department stores have also shortened their opening hours in response to the crisis, most agreeing to close their doors at 6 p.m.

© Compiled from news reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


15 Comments
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Retailers and stores hit the roads.

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Wonder how CostCo is doing. Hmmm

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costco's garage was badly damaged in the quake.

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Costco announced it closed only one store in Tamasaki, so customers can do at other stores.

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We bought a breadmaker a few weeks back- that's turning out to be a good investment since we couldn't buy any at the supermarket yesterday. Good as long as the flour supply holds out I suppose...

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Is this really necessary, all this hoarding of food? Here in Yokohama everything is just fine, quake wise I mean, so why the long lines at gas stations? I went to the supermarket early this morning at opening time, expecting it to be quiet as usual, but it was mayhem, the store was packed with folks. There is no rice, no canned food, no oatmeal (sniff), no bread. I don't get it. It was quiet though, nobody was saying a thing.

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Grocery stores opened at 9 or 10 am this morning and they were packed. People definitely stocking up, including me, after a thorough inventory of what's in the apartment. Feeling better now...the local 7-11 looks like they got in a shipment but still lot of empty shelving.

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I don't understand this "panic buying" most of what people buy seems to be perishable(dairy, bread, etc) or goods that need a lot of water to prepare. As well as salty snacks, etc.

Haven't been able to get bread for a few days, so i bought flour(plenty left) and am making my own bread in a fry-pan, etc.

Ditto, for canned foods local super has a sale and staff sez they can't move them.

Not sure why people are panic buying in Tokyo, etc.

We are only scheduled for short blackout periods and if a major shortage would happen than we would be out of water and gas too(no juice for the pumps) so all those foods they stocked up would be ...

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"Panic buying" resutled in my sons school struggling to provide yesterdays school-lunch.

Got a call yesterday and was asked to prepare a bento "just" in case they would be short again today.

Tough to do a decent bento when the shelves are empty.

Plus I am already paying for the school-lunch and now a bento too.

Those are some of the real problems on the ground.

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"Panic buying leaves SOME shelves empty following earthquake"

"Panic Inducing Headlines Induce Panic"

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I think with perishable goods it's as much a case of the usual deliveries not being made to supermarkets and conbinis as panic buying. With companies reducing business hours, asking staff to stay home and various transport issues, the distribution networks have to have been affected, and that's what the signs at our local supermarket suggested.

for canned foods local super has a sale and staff sez they can't move them.

Canned foods were completely sold out when we went to the supermarket yesterday. Beer however there was plenty of...

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Japanese people use to buy daily food for one or two days and are not accustomed to accumulate food or stuff at home. Suddenly they are in a situation in wich nobody knows when supplies are resume to normal. In a situation like this I will go to the next super and buy anything that i can or need to endure the shortages. Logic, isnt it? Unfortunately I got late and Maruetsu was a rice, milk, canned food and juices free country.

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Saturday afternoon my convenie was completely out of beer but the happoshuu shelves were full. My assumption was that people were splurge buying. If were all gonna die, at least get drunk on the good stuff!

And then I saw Kakuyasu making a delivery to the neighbors. That was when I thought maybe things aren't really that entirely F'ed up.

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its natural to stock , everyone wants to live but in moments like this the need of the hour is to share

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Seeing empty shelves in my local 7-11 was a shockeroo for me. NEVER seen that. Led to a bit of well-informed "panic" or maybe just prudent buying yesterday. Today, too. Good thing I have a decent stock of Emergency Supplies, thanks to a wise suggestion by a friend last year. Really paying off now in feelings of security.

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