Customers' Habits in Shutdown

With a shutdown looming, the sudden grocery hoarding craze of March 2020 reached more than just the major supermarkets in Glenferrie.

Customers of specialty food store Miss Gourmet and Co. were stockpiling goods and clearing the shelves. Store manager Kirsten noticed a dramatic drop in foot traffic along the street in April, as people adhered to calls to stay home, leading to a general decrease in sales especially having lost those small lunch-time purchases. Their most popular products with customers have been “pantry items, although we are seeing a shift to more comfort foods,” said Kirsten. “The reality is sinking in that this is our new normal for some time.”

COVID-19 safety measures at Miss Gourmet & Co.

It is a different story at the Woolworths liquor store, BWS. During shutdown people have been buying more alcohol for sure, said staff member Eugene, however “they’re not hoarding alcohol or doing huge purchases ... they’re coming in more often,” he said. Besides practising social distancing, customers are behaving generally the same - but what they are concerned and talking about has changed. The afternoon and evening rushes have completely disappeared. “Nobody seems to be in a hurry anymore,” said Eugene.

BWS employee Eugene.

Mind Games has seen “fewer people through the store,” said manager Lucas, “but now it’s destination shopping. People are coming to purchase, and purchasing in large volumes.” The most popular item with Glenferrie customers has by far been jigsaw puzzles, which Lucas attributes to Scott Morrison saying that they are an "essential item" in isolation during an address on 28 March. “We’re selling a little bit of everything, chess sets, lego sets, board games… but jigsaws are the new toilet paper,” he joked.

Lines outside of Mind Games.

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