THE long queues of people were missing. It was all quiet and everything was smooth at the markets and supermarkets as Penangites fully observed the total lockdown to stem the spread of the virus.
At the Bayan Baru market, there were only a handful of shoppers seen browsing through groceries with relative ease.
Bayan Baru Market Traders Association chairman Tan Ken Keong said this was in stark contrast to the weekend crowd last week at the market, where people were thronging stalls to buy supplies.
“There is no queue today. The entire market seems exceptionally quiet and business is slow.
“There is a 40% drop in visitor numbers.
“Most of them who came over the weekend would have gotten a week’s supply of groceries then, ” he said when met at the market yesterday.
Tan said as the pandemic continued, marketgoers were adapting to the habit of buying ahead.
“Many of them come once or twice a week to buy supplies to keep.
“To us, this is normal now and it is not panic buying.
“Anyhow, we want to assure consumers that supply is always enough. In fact, our supply is more than the demand.”
Meanwhile, checks at malls found only a handful of shoppers out to get the essentials.
At Queensbay Mall in Persiaran Bayan Indah, the grocery aisles were near empty and there were no queues at the cashiers.
Meanwhile along Jalan Gurdwara, Gama Supermarket and Departmental Store senior marketing manager Leong Hau Soon said the crowds from the weekend were missing.
“It is back to our normal operation days until noon and we do not see any queues forming.
“On Saturday, we saw many people and there were many customers who came early to pick up essentials after the lockdown announcement.
“Today, we are seeing the crowd dwindling in numbers.
“It could also be due to many customers moving into online and pickup delivery services, ” said Leong.