I’m being very careful about my shopping for necessities during this virus crisis. That’s not like me. I probably run up to my neighborhood supermarket in normal times about four times a week to pick up small culinary items, and the Friday and weekend Wall Street Journal editions.
Maybe Long’s twice a week for some small need from the personal care department, paper goods, or because a $6.00 Off coupon is burning a hole in my wallet.
Costco? Once a month for fish, coffee, frozen blueberries, and some things I don’t need but what the heck!
Now? Costco is a really bad idea. Too many people. Too much handling. But for every one of me not going there seem to be maybe a dozen others who are. In its latest earnings results, the company said the uptick in demand had a 3% “positive impact on total and comparable sales.”
Chief financial officer Richard Galanti says “members are turning to us for a variety of items associated with preparing for and dealing with a virus such as shelf stables, dry grocery items, cleaning supplies, Clorox and bleach, water, paper goods, hand sanitizers, sanitizing wipes, disinfectants, health and beauty aids.”
The one thing that has suffered is its in-house travel business. Many members go to Costco’s online presence to plan cruises, rent cars, and buy guided tours. But not now, of course.
My suggestion for shoppers is to use the small places such as Palama Supermarket on Makaloa Street, the Micronesian Market on Kalakaua Avenue, and even convenience stores. They generally have few customers at one time.
I did some liquor buying at a hole-in-the-wall at University Avenue and Beretania Street and was the only customer in the store. The cash register operator was wearing a full face shield.
Most of the small places limit the number of customers who can enter the store at the same time.
I’m using Farm Link Hawaii to get a $30 box of mixed local produce every week. My pickup point is across from the UH.
My neighbor Sheila Watumull brought me fresh Leonard’s malasadas and some fried chicken. Our friend Carol Lin treated us to pints from La Gelateria.
For Easter dinner, I’m doing green beans baked as if they were french fries, with panko and parmesan, and a salad of thinly sliced beets and carrots topped with an exotic dressing; and lastly a salmon filet in a yet-to-be-decided style. No lamb this year. But some special green tea ice cream from Japan and piece of to-die-for cake by master baker Alia Pan.