MAJOR Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona has appealed to customers to stop panic-buying and hoarding.
Reporting a €47 million fall in profits last year, Mercadona president, Juan Roig, sought to calm consumers on Tuesday.
Buyers have been raiding shelves recently to scoop up sunflower oil forcing retailers like Mercadona to introduce rationing.
The surge in demand was prompted by the war in Ukraine, which is a major producer of the oil.
Juan Roig said: “There are no shortage problems. We saw toilet paper sales double in the first month of the pandemic but then return to normal. Now it happens with certain products, such as sunflower oil or flour.”
“It is hoarding and nothing else. We have more than enough stocks,” he added.
“People get nervous because they see an empty shelf, but they don’t have to stock up,” as Roig slammed ‘hoarders’ and ‘speculators’.
He described the Spanish agri-food chain as ‘strong’ and predicted ‘no product problems’.
Roig also pledged not to put up prices for the sake of it, despite energy costs sky-rocketing.
He said the firm absorbed many rises last year and only increased prices by 2%, with the company’s profit margin lowered by €100 million.
Mercadona declared a profit of €680 million for 2021 compared to €727 in 2020 which saw the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Turnover in 2021 was up by 3.3% to €27.8 billion, with 1,000 new jobs created.
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