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Masks fly off the shelves

Linda Buick received about 100 mask orders on Wednesday. PHOTO/ALEYNA MARTINEZ

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Linda Buick didn’t think she would get time to sleep on Wednesday night after an influx of mask orders meant she had 100 orders by closing time Wednesday.

Rising to the challenge, she welcomed the business as her clothing store [Linda Buick Clothing] was still recovering from the last lockdown.

Buick said she put them in the window at 4.30pm on Tuesday when she closed, unaware of the lockdown announcement to come that night.

“I had just been making them for my family,” Buick said.

Meanwhile Wairarapa pharmacies reported selling out of masks within hours of opening their doors Wednesday morning.

Owner/operator of Life Pharmacy in Masterton Darryl Hughes said they ran out of stock around 10.30am.

When he opened two hours earlier he had “about six boxes of 50” masks.

“I got another 12 boxes in [store] and then sold those as well, so we’ve sold about 20 boxes of masks today [Wednesday].”

Hughes said mask prices had gone up from the wholesaler’s end.

“What we ordered last week is more expensive than what we ordered the week before,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s about supply and demand.”

Phil Crisp, owner/operator of Unichem Pharmacy in Martinborough said he was facing similar supply problems but had managed to source masks from Christchurch, which he planned to fly to Wairarapa yesterday.

“No warehouse anywhere has got them, and I don’t even think the doctors have been able to get any either,” Crisp said.

“Everybody says there’s plenty of PPE gear around but there certainly isn’t.”

Buick said she hoped her masks would bring in fresh business.

“I don’t know if my business will survive another lockdown,” she said.

Buick had accessed the wage subsidy during the first lockdown but wanted to stand on her own feet before accessing relief funding again.

Buick’s masks are $15 from her store on Bannister St.

A spokesperson for Evans of Masterton on Dixon St said they were running out of elastic supply because people have started making their own masks.

The store would be limiting sales to five metres per customer “to make it fair”.

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