CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 16 August) — Authorities here stopped a shoe sale offering up to 80% off on branded items after it attracted throngs of shoppers who defied physical distancing protocols last Saturday.
Lawyer Jose Edgar Uy, chair of the Cagayan de Oro Regulatory and Complaints Board (RCB) said he had to stop the clearance sale of The Sports Warehouse at the Atrium of the Limketkai shopping mall where hundreds of shoppers flocked to avail of the discounted prices.
The Sports Warehouse’s announcement of its shoe sale from August 15 to 21 offered up to 80% discount on brands Nike, Adidas, New Balance and Pro Touch.
Uy said pictures of the crowd of shoppers flooded Facebook showing they did not observe physical distancing, even as health protocols require a meter or two distance between persons to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
“There were about a thousand shoppers who lined up too close to each other,” Uy noted.
He said he also called up the management of Limketkai mall to stop the flow of more shoppers to the sale.
The sale was stopped one hour after it began but not before police and mall security had a verbal match with some angry shoppers.
Uy said the management of the store informed him that they would be having a sale of their shoes for several days.
“I thought it was an ordinary store sale. I never thought there will be a crowd of shoppers,” he said.
In a statement on its Facebook account, the management of Limketkai Mall said management “temporarily stopped” the sale “due to the unexpected number of shoppers.”
“Please wait for further update for their sale. Rest assured that Limketkai Mall is one with the government in their campaign in fighting the spread of COVID-19,” it said.
Uy said they are studying what charges would be heaped on the store for the violation.
The huge crowd of shoppers attracted negative reactions on social media.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also called the attention of the National Inter-Agency Task Force after he received a tweet from a netizen who shared a picture of the big crowd. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)