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As COVID Cases Rise Again, NYC Supermarket CEO Asks Customers Not To Stockpile Essentials: 'If Nobody Panics, We're Going To Be OK'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Now that coronavirus cases are rising again, there's another rush for necessities.

Supplies are flying off the shelves, just as they were in March.

"I'm buying for myself and I'm also buying for my next door neighbor because they're afraid to come outside," shopper Carolyn Edwards said.

At a Walmart Supercenter in Kearny, New Jersey, Edwards was stocking up on essentials.

"We got more water -- one for her, one for me, as well -- and, you know, just a little more juice, milk," she said.

She's preparing for a potential lockdown as COVID cases swell in the Tri-State Area.

"You don't know what's going to happen, so you've got to be ready," Edwards said.

She's not the only one preparing.


John Catsimatidis, owner and CEO of about 35 Gristedes and D'Agostino locations in New York City, says business has been up 10% in the last few days as people begin to stockpile.

"People are worried a lot about that Thanksgiving dinner, and they're buying early and buying in quantities," he said.

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Catsimatidis says the stores still haven't recovered from the panic buying that left many store shelves empty during the first wave.

"There's always been shortages in Bounty and in Charmin, and it has not come back to normal," he said.

Catsimatidis says as of right now, it's business as usual, but if the stores begin to notice they're running short of certain key products, they'll begin to limit how many times each customer can buy at one time.

He's encouraging people to only buy what they need.

"The supply chain is good. We are well-equipped. If nobody panics, we're going to be OK," Catsimatidis said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Manhattan roommates who spoke to CBS2's Kiran Dhillon agree. They panic-shopped in the spring and regretted it.

"We bought a lot of wipes and stuff, and it was so much more expensive than it normally is," Priyanka Agarwal said.

But back in New Jersey, Edwards says she's not overdoing it.

"Somebody else wants to get the opportunity to buy for their family as well, so we're considering that while we're picking up. I know I am," she said. "But it's better to be safe than sorry."

She's thinking of others but not taking any chances.


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