Binge buying to blame for empty shelves in Bayonne

The Office of Emergency Management advises residents to buy only what they need

A store with empty shelves due to COVID-19 binge buying, via Shutterstock.
A store with empty shelves due to COVID-19 binge buying, via Shutterstock.

Many Bayonne residents have flocked to local stores and supermarkets to stock up on supplies. Fearing the worst about the COVID-19 pandemic, some customers have resorted to binge buying.

People have been seen buying massive supplies of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves. Now, all these item are almost impossible to find, even online.

While some stockpile, others scam. Price gougers have always tried to take advantage of victims of crisises such as SuperStorm Sandy.

The New Jersey  Attorney General has been cracking down on price gouging. You can report it to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240.

Now, some look to make a quick buck by hoarding supplies to resell at a higher price than the price they purchased it for.

In grocery stores, binge buying has resulted in a shortage of many common but essential items.

Binge buying to blame

The Bayonne Office of Emergency Management (OEM) addressed the issue in an April 17 COVID-19 update, responding to a number of residents’ concerns and frequently asked questions.

“Why can’t I find the essentials at the supermarket?” one questioner asked.

OEM pointed to binge buying. “Take what you need,” OEM said. “The stores have been able to refill their shelves pretty quickly so PLEASE DON’T BINGE BUY!”

OEM also reiterated the need to practice social distancing.

“We all need to use common sense when we venture out of the house,” OEM continued. “Regardless of what level of social distancing is being enforced in a particular store, it is up to us as individuals to decide whether we feel safe shopping there and it is up to us as individuals to keep our distance from others.”

Gov. Phil Murphy recently signed an executive order mandating that New Jersey residents wear masks when inside public businesses.

OEM advised residents to follow the order when it comes to social distancing.

“Remember, though, that ‘social distancing’ is a new thing for everybody and it is easy to forget to apply these principles when we are out and about because ‘social distancing’ is such a new phenomenon,” OEM said in the update.

Senior citizens-only shopping hours 

Certain local stores and supermarkets are providing ways for vulnerable people to shop safely.

The following stores in Bayonne will host special hours for senior citizens and people with disabilities:

• Stop & Shop at 1 Lefante Way from 6 to 7:30 a.m. every day
• Aqui Supermarket at Broadway and 55th Street from 7 to 8 a.m. every day
• Walgreens at 699 Broadway, 12 North Street, and 1080 Broadway from 8 to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays
• ShopRite at Avenue C and 26th Street from 7 to 8 a.m. on Wednesdays

For additional information, call the Bayonne Urban Enterprise Zone at (201) 858-6357.

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