Two Gilmours stores won't open on Sunday after 'overwhelming customer demand'

Wholsesale food and beverage company Gilmours won't open two of its Auckland stores on Sunday after "overwhelming customer demand". 

Confirmation of a coronavirus case in Auckland on Friday prompted extraordinary panic-buying across the city on Saturday, with Gilmours saying it was forced to shut its North Shore Cash and Carry store on Saturday due to demand. 

"We are asking shoppers to only buy what they need and resist the urge to stockpile as this puts unnecessary stress on stores," Gilmours said earlier on Saturday.

"Some stores have limitations in place for extremely high demand and low stock products, including items such as hand sanitizer and antibacterial products."

It's now confirmed that the North Shore store will remain closed on Sunday, while the Manukau store will also be closed. Both will reopen on Monday.

"Gilmours North Shore Cash and Carry will remain closed on Sunday 1 March. Gilmours Manuaku Cash and Carry will also be closed on Sunday. Both stores will re-open on Monday.

"We are continuing to work hard to ensure there will be no impact for our Foodservice Delivery customers on Monday."

One of the supermarkets which saw a mass turnout on Friday night was the Botany Pak'nSave. 

A spokesperson for Foodstuffs told Newshub management of the Botany store "took the decision to regulate the number of incoming customers in-store, this was due to a sudden influx".

"This decision was taken for about half an hour to help clear the volume of people in-store, and the decision was made for the safety and comfort of customers.

"If customers continue to shop normally stores will have no issues providing the usual range of products. We would ask customers to resist the urge to stock up as this simply puts unnecessary pressure on stores."

The Ministry of Health insists chances of an outbreak in the community remain low.

Both the Prime Minister and Director-General of Health understand people's urge to make preparations but have called for calm.

Director-General Ashley Bloomfield told reporters on Saturday that it's understood all supply chains and the logistics of main supermarkets are "very, very good and there is plenty of supplies of things in the country".