Wholesaler overwhelmed by disinfectant shoppers

People hoping to purchase Lysol disinfectant gathered outside the sole wholesaler for the scarce commodity
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By Kadeem Joseph

As scores of residents flocked to Hutchinson’s Antigua Limited in the hopes of purchasing Lysol disinfectant on Tuesday, the company sought to dissuade people from making a run on the business.

Residents braved the rain and the intermittent hot sun as they waited outside the gates of the Factory Road business, the product’s sole local distributor, in order to get the potentially lifesaving item that is now scarce island-wide due to increased demand.

The company’s managing director, Davidson Charles, told Observer that Hutchinson’s was not meant to operate as a retailer.

“What we are trying to do is to get the public whatever Lysol we have by distributing to our retailers and businesses,” he said. “We do not really wish for individuals to come and buy Lysol here because we are not a retail operation and our business isn’t established that way.”

Workers could be seen hustling to package the products earmarked for businesses and supermarkets, while others tried to assist those who had gathered outside.

Charles said that the company’s trucks and employees “are trying to get to all of the businesses so that the public can have the Lysol they need”.

He said, however, the business continues to have challenges getting the product from manufacturers but, as stock becomes available, they will distribute it to retailers.

To date, there have been three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Antigua and Barbuda and Ministry of Health officials continue to urge residents to practice social distancing and exercise good hygiene measures to limit its spread.

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