Garden centres selling out of seedlings as supermarket shelves stand empty

Panic buying has spread from supermarkets to garden centres but workers say there is no reason to be anxious. 

Photos posted to a West Auckland community page show empty shelves at a Palmer's Garden Centre. Everything from compost to seed packets had been cleared. 

Sonia Price the assistant manager of Palmer's Westgate told Newshub she had "never seen anything like it."

"It's the veges mostly, all our winter veges. We were wiped out."

She told Newshub it wasn't just her store seeing the increase and other stores have sold out too.

Even their seed packets had been bought out which she said was "crazy".

"It'll be six to 12 weeks before you even get a harvest," she told Newshub.

Price said the empty shelves won't last long - a large shipment will be delivered within days meaning the garden centres will be able to keep up with demand. 

Garden centres selling out of seedlings as supermarket shelves stand empty
Photo credit: Facebook

As the coronavirus pandemic grows people are determined to protect themselves. Photos across social media show large queues for supermarkets, bare shelves, and even fist fights over food.

But the professionals say there is no reason to buy out the stores and the panic is just adding fuel to the fire.

The chief executive officer for Foodstuffs told Newshub there is more than enough stock to go around.

"We have a lot of product - the issue is the pace at which we can move it out and get it on the shelves," said Chris Quinn.

"We need everyone to work with us and shop normally so we can get things from the warehouses to the shops."

He stressed that supermarkets will not run out of food so there is no reason to clear the shelves so quickly.