- Hundreds of excited shoppers swarmed to a mall in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines last August 15.
- Announcement of a clearance sale up to 80% on branded shoes attracted consumers.
- Authorities stopped the sale as people ignored health protocols amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
- The shop may be sanctioned for holding the sale.
Approximately 500 people waited in a queue to purchase discounted, branded shoes at the atrium of Limketkai Shopping Mall on August 15, Saturday. Photos, which later circulated on social media, showed customers standing close to each other to get to the atrium where the sale items were displayed.
Lawyer Jose Edgar Uy, chair of Cagayan de Oro Regulatory and Complaints Board (RCB), stopped the sale an hour after it began, as people disregarded social distancing protocols.
Attorney Uy said it was Planet Sports that held the bargain. However, it was The Sports Warehouse that posted a statement on Facebook about the sale’s suspension.
“Even before the mall opened, people were queueing at the entrances without observing social distancing. As the entrances opened, people rushed to the atrium,” Dr. Charles Marquez said. He was at a pharmacy inside the mall to administer flu and pneumonia vaccines.
Supposedly, the clearance sale would run from August 15 to 21 with an 80% discount on shoes such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and Pro Touch, reports said. This announcement evidently attracted buyers to the said mall.
They closed the entrances before noon to prevent more shoppers from getting in. Attorney Uy said, “Only the atrium was closed to the public. People who are inside the mall can still go to other stores.”
The store’s management informed Attorney Uy about the event and its duration but he did not expect such a large crowd to gather at the mall.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. received a tweet from a netizen showing Saturday’s incident as well.
He then called the attention of the National Inter-Agency Task Force.
According to local media, the management of Limketkai Mall released a statement on Facebook saying they 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,” they said.
According to the Manila Bulletin, the sale is suspended until the store can assure the city government and the mall management that it can conform to the basic health protocols.
Meanwhile, an investigation of the incident is underway. Attorney Uy said the RBC can issue penalties and sanctions to whoever is responsible once they have completed the inquest.
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