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Shopping centres expect unabated demand in final hours before snow

By Dana Al Emam - Jan 06,2015 - Last updated at Jan 06,2015

AMMAN — Shopping malls and hypermarkets are expecting a further increase in demand on food items until the final hours before an expected blizzard hits the Kingdom.

In interviews with The Jordan Times over the phone, senior employees at shopping malls cited an “unprecedented” demand, especially on basic items like vegetables, dairy products, rice and meat, as well as heaters.

“Sales rose by 60 per cent on Tuesday, topping Monday’s 40 per cent increase,” said Mahmoud Rababaa, deputy director general of Sameh Mall, which has 13 branches around Jordan.

He expected the demand to further increase, noting that reserves of most products at the mall are enough for 30 days, while stocks of basic items are sufficient for 60 days.

Rababaa urged people to let go of their “unjustified fears of running out of goods”, pointing out that most markets across the Kingdom remain open during snowstorms.

Meanwhile, a customer service employee at Cozmo Centre in west Amman said the “huge” demand ahead of the anticipated blizzard is four times greater than the average demand.

He confirmed the authenticity of some photos circulated on social media showing completely empty shelves at the department store.

“Some shelves at our hypermarket went empty,” he said, adding that all market managers are roaming around the supermarket to follow up on customers’ needs.  

Jordanians found the photos of empty hypermarket shelves a chance to express their opinions on the growing consumerist trend.

Faris Khaldi wrote on Facebook that it is better to shop now than go out during the blizzard and block the streets.

Meanwhile, another Facebook user had a different take, remembering those who cannot afford to splurge on food and other commodities. 

“God be with the poor and our Syrian brothers in Zaatari camp,” he wrote.

Other users criticised the surge in demand, saying the empty shelves make it look like a “famine” has hit the country.

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