NYC supermarket CEO to shoppers amid COVID surge: Don't hoard, stay calm

Alexis Christoforous

As COVID-19 cases surge again across the country, there’s another wave of panic buying at the grocery store.

John Catsimatidis, CEO of New York City’s largest supermarket chains Gristedes and D’Agostino, is urging his customers to buy just what they need. “The only time there’s going to be a problem is when customers hoard. If everyone stays calm, we have ample supplies of everything,” he told Yahoo Finance Live.

Catsimatidis said business is up 10% in the past week as customers stockpile essentials, and while his stores are well stocked for the Thanksgiving holiday, he’s urging customers to buy early so they’re not disappointed.

“Don’t take a chance of ruining your Thanksgiving that you can’t get cranberry sauce,” he said.

FILE - In this March 3, 2020 file photo, empty shelves for disinfectant wipes wait for restocking, as concerns grow around COVID-19,  in New York.  Legions of nervous hoarders are stocking up on canned goods, frozen dinners, toilet paper, and cleaning products.  Such hoarding that's expected to last for weeks has created big challenges for discounters and grocery stores as well as food delivery services. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
March 3, 2020 empty shelves for disinfectant wipes wait for restocking, as concerns grow around COVID-19, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

So far, his supermarkets have not had to put limits on how much cleaning supplies and paper goods people can buy at one time, something many grocery chains were doing early in the pandemic.

“We’re monitoring the situation very carefully, and we will if we have to,” said Catsimatidis. “The A-brands — Charmin, Bounty — they’re still in short supply for some reason, but we’ll always have toilet paper. You might not get the toilet paper you want to get, you’ll get the B-brands.”

Alexis Christoforous is an anchor and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.

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