Canadians are getting used to the sight of empty shelves. The spread of COVID-19 in Canada has people rushing out to buy as much as they can, leaving stores with low amounts of stock. However, there is hope on the horizon.
Both the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and Loblaws CEO Galen Weston have put out messages to reassure Canadians that supplies will not run out.
"We know the frustration of an empty shelf and have assigned an entire team to the challenge of rapidly re-stocking key food, health, cleaning and comfort items," Weston wrote. "As they do so, our commitment is that you will continue to find the same value-for-money in our stores, no matter what happens in the coming weeks."
Marc Fortin, the president of the RCC in Quebec, also wanted to reassure Canadians that there are no shortages of anything.
"Warehouses are getting their goods delivered, orders are coming in," Fortin said in a March 17 statement. "So the question is getting the products back into the store."
He added that people shouldn't panic, and estimated that stores should be returning to normal by the weekend.
Photos have already been shared on Twitter of stores restocking their shelves, a major contrast to the images of stores stripped bare (especially the toilet paper aisles).
Visited a Costco this morning, where most shelves were empty on the weekend... Trust the food supply chain. https://t.co/y9tR6x0O3d— The Food Professor (@The Food Professor)1584545877.0
"Visited a Costco this morning, where most shelves were empty on the weekend... Trust the food supply chain," Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of the agri-food analytics lab at Dalhousie wrote in a March 18 tweet.
Charlebois previously gave a similar message to the Toronto Star, saying that the supply chain can handle the demand, and that "the worst is gone now."
A handful of photos from other Twitter users show the same thing, giving a flicker of hope that the worst really might be over.
@TheDrewWelch Shelves were completely empty on Friday, fully stocked today up here in Canada. https://t.co/ZenIPvXfia— Go Hawks! (@Go Hawks!)1584292937.0
I finally had to go to the store. Yes, there were empty shelves. There were also a lot of full shelves. It made ext… https://t.co/5JGC64bddy— Chris Bassett (@Chris Bassett)1584579580.0
Supply chains across Canada are strong. There are no food shortages - just some empty shelves due to a sudden rush… https://t.co/NLkeHhZzmw— RCC (@RCC)1584625318.0
Great visit to @Sobeys today. Almost everything available and even toilet paper was on sale. A huge thank you to ev… https://t.co/G03KQanS46— Tyler Cameron (@Tyler Cameron)1584639580.0
"Shelves were completely empty on Friday, fully stocked today up here in Canada," wrote @Montrealdolfan.
"I finally had to go to the store. Yes, there were empty shelves. There were also a lot of full shelves. It made extremely grateful to the people producing, shipping, stocking, selling, and managing the food supply in our country. #SupplyChain #Canada" wrote @global_bassett.
A number of stores, including Sobeys and Shoppers Drug Mart, have also dedicated their early shopping hours exclusively to elderly customers and people with disabilities.
While COVID-19 has left a lot of people feeling uncertain of what's to come, it's good to know that there are some silver linings.