Doomsday preppers swoop on whitegoods, seeds

SEEDLINGS, chickens and whitegoods are vanishing from stores around the region, as doomsday preppers go off-grid to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Rosemount Nursery staff were left scrambling this week, after two orders of seedlings sold out within hours.

Seeds were also being snapped up at a rapid rate, with vegetables and herbs top of the list.

Nursery staffer Michelle Tencate said quick turnover crops were the first to go, with lettuce, kale, chives and tomatoes swooped upon.

"A lot of people are saying 'yeah, we're just trying to sustain ourselves'," she said.

Nursery manager Sally Rogers said the rush had caught them by surprise and she said the most recent order had been sold out in an hour.

She said sales were up about 30 per cent for the week than normal, driven by the manic purchases of the past two days.

She said rural suppliers she'd spoken to told her they'd sold "100 chooks this week".

"That's what people are doing, they want to be self-sufficient," Ms Rogers said.

She said one customer who came in this week told her it was his last day out in public before he took his family off-grid for a month.

She said he'd told her he had enough supplies to last two months.

"This is what's happening," Ms Rogers said.

Nursery manager Greg Fielding of Rosemount Nursery can't keep up with demand of seedling and seed orders selling out in record time surrounding COVID-19 virus. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Nursery manager Greg Fielding of Rosemount Nursery can't keep up with demand of seedling and seed orders selling out in record time surrounding COVID-19 virus. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Whitegoods were also being targeted by panic buyers preparing for an extended period of self-sufficiency.

The Good Guys in Maroochydore reportedly sold out of chest freezers this week, when a rush on the items started over the weekend.

Sunshine Coast Washers and Fridges proprietor John Buck said they usually fielded inquiries on chest freezers "once or twice a week", but from Thursday, March 12 to Monday, March 16, they'd been hit with 108 inquiries.

He said most were for a 200l chest freezer, as buyers stocked up on surplus groceries as the coronavirus pandemic ramped up.

"From our customers' reports, everywhere is sold out of small chest freezers," Mr Buck said.


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