Supermarkets were better prepared for second wave of COVID-19

Bananas in a supermarket.
Bananas in a supermarket. Source: Margus Muld/ERR

Representatives of supermarket chains confirm that they were better prepared for the second wave of COVID-19 when it comes to disinfectants and personal protective equipment (PPE). At the same time, people are more relaxed and do not hoard provisions as they did in spring.

Searching for disinfectants in spring led many people on a tour of Estonian supermarkets. This problem seems to have been dealt with during the second wave of COVID-19 in Estonia, with representatives from supermarket chains Selver and Rimi saying that the second wave could be predicted and noone will be left empty-handed this time around.

Kristjan Anderson, manager of business accounting for Selver, said: "We can confirm that all stores have enough disinfectants and masks, both single-use and reusable. Demand has gone up over the last couple of weeks, demand was actually somewhat higher for the last few months, so I believe that households have collected somewhat of a stock. If demand were to develop as it did in March and April, we are prepared to satisfy it."

Rimi Baltic's category management director Maris Rannus confirmed that demand has dropped off compared to spring this year, when the pandemic first arose.

"We do not see people stocking up for a longer period of time but we are seeing a beautiful increase in fruit and vegetable sales, so we can presume that people prefer healthier goods. Our e-store is also doing significantly better than it did in the spring, meaning the e-store's clients are healthier in principle, leading to an increase in fruit and vegetable sales," Rannus explained.

She said there are no shopping frenzies this time. People were stocking up on long-lasting foods in spring but are not doing so in fall.

Anderson said sales of health products have gone up in Selver stores, especially when it comes to vitamins and nutritional supplements. Sales of prepared meals have also gone down.

"When it comes to chilled prepared meals, the volumes are at the level of last year, but the same cannot be said about warm meals. Drops are no longer 20-30 percent as they were in March and April but we are still talking about a 5-10 percent decrease in sales. It may be related to there being less people working in offices, schooldesks being populated sparsely and consumption patterns generally being affected by the current situation. On the other hand, it seems as if preparing meals have become more of a priority for households," Anderson said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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