Supermarkets May Limit Customer Entry under Virus Emergency

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)--In response to a fresh novel coronavirus state of emergency for Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, supermarkets operating in the metropolitan area are considering restricting the entry of customers if needed to prevent crowds from being formed.

Summit Inc., which operates supermarkets mainly in Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, where the fresh emergency declaration was issued, is asking customers again to visit its stores in small groups and only spend a short time in store.

When the previous emergency declaration for the epidemic was issued in April last year, Summit saw its stores flooded with shoppers seeking to stock up foodstuffs and other items.

This time, supermarkets have massively increased stocks of products, such as instant noodles, that became targets of panic-buying during last year's virus emergency. Agriculture minister Kotaro Nogami has called on consumers not to rush to stock up products and to act calmly.

On top of limiting the number of shoppers allowed in stores during times when they are crowded, major supermarket operators will refrain from carrying out discount sales and limited-time offers. Starting on Saturday, Life Corp. <8194> halted the distribution of leaflets at all of its 121 stores in the greater Tokyo area to reduce infection risks for both employees and customers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press