SINGAPORE: NTUC FairPrice is working very closely with its suppliers to bring in more mosquito repellent products as demand for such items has soared since news of the first locally transmitted Zika case emerged, said Mr Seah Kian Peng, chief executive officer of the supermarket chain on Friday (Sep 2).
"I want to assure the public...that we are working very hard to bring in stocks. So they don't have to worry that they cannot get their repellent and their mosquito patch. These are all coming in. We can also assure them that the prices are going to be stable," said Mr Seah, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the Trolley Enforcement Project.
Mr Seah noted that it is human behaviour to stock up when there is a crisis or a disease outbreak but he also assured that the supermarket is taking proactive steps to ensure sufficient supply.
"We understand the anxiety of Zika, the spread of Zika. As a result of this, people will tend to rush and buy and stock up. It has happened before... during the haze period and rice crisis and the natural and human behaviour is to stock up. So currently, there is a temporary out of stock situation,” said Mr Seah.
On Wednesday (Aug 31), retailers told Channel NewsAsia that sales of mosquito repellent products have doubled or even tripled, although most of outlets have sufficient stock.
At Unity Pharmacy, sales of mosquito repellent sprays, patches, bracelets, lotions, wipes and clip-ons have tripled across all of its 59 outlets.
Pharmacy chain Watsons, which has more than 100 stores islandwide, said sales of mosquito repellent products have more than doubled across all of its outlets.
Even as the supermarket is working to ensure supplies remain available, Mr Seah urged the public not to overbuy.
“When we bring in the stocks, don't rush," he said. "We will continue to bring stocks in regularly. But if all of us buy ten times more than what we need, no matter how much we bring in, it's going to be sold out very quickly.”