Scarcity hits grocery shops

DUBAI — Several groceries and small supermarkets in both Dubai and Sharjah have been hit by a sudden scarcity of perishable items like milk, bread and eggs owing to the heavy rain over the last two days.

By Joy Sengupta (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Thu 17 Jan 2008, 9:20 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:52 PM

With most of the supply vehicles not arriving yesterday due to the waterlogged roads, the groceries complained they were facing a shortage of essential commodities and that many customers had to be turned back.

Besides, low attendance by staff, particularly delivery boys, in the last two days has had many supermarkets in Dubai and Sharjah face huge business losses as well, sources said.

An official of a supermarket at the King Faisal Road in Sharjah said, “We need daily supplies of perishable items like milk, breads, eggs etc. With heavy rains on Tuesday, none of the supply vehicles turned up. Yesterday, we called them up in order to enquire and again got a negative answer. They said that since all roads were full of water, the vehicles could not reach us. They have only promised fresh supplies by tomorrow.

“The expiry dates of the existing items are over and we cannot sell them. Milk and breads are essential items which the customers need everyday. Since morning, we have refused more than 30 customers.”

Officials of the Bilal Al Madina Supermarket in the Al Nahda area in Dubai also said the same. “There have been no fresh supplies for the last two days. With water covering all the streets, the vehicles have not turned up despite several requests. We are expecting supplies only by tomorrow. The customers are blaming us and we are trying to make them understand the problem. The rains have caused a lot of business damage,” one of them said.

Another supermarket in Al Khan area in Sharjah said that apart from no fresh supply of goods for the past two days, waterlogging outside the outlet had affected its business significantly. Customers were unable to come to the outlet for other purchases due to knee-deep water outside, the manager complained. “Besides, I had just one delivery boy who turned up to work yesterday affecting our huge supplies to homes in the vicinity.”

The big supermarket chains, however, faced no major supply problems. “We offer a 24-hour service. So the supply vehicles can reach us at any time. We did not have to face this problem,” said a representative of Choithram’s in Dubai.

Restaurants in Sharjah also said they would face problems because of the lack of supplies. “We did not have the supply of items like eggs, cheese, milk, fish and mutton. Though we have sufficient stocks for a few days, lack of fresh supplies poses a problem. The supply vehicles must reach us latest by tomorrow,” said an official of Mediterranean Restaurant at Qanat Al Qasba in Sharjah.

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