Wagga lube supplies dry up as panic-buyers raid adult shops amid coronavirus fears

ESSENTIAL: Flirt Adult Store has been deemed an essential service by the government. Picture: Kenji Sato
ESSENTIAL: Flirt Adult Store has been deemed an essential service by the government. Picture: Kenji Sato

Lube supplies are drying up as panic-buyers raid adult stores in the NSW Riverina amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic.

As Wagga residents suddenly find themselves with plenty of free time on their hands, Flirt Adult Store owner Jeff Oliver has noticed certain products surge in popularity.

"We've seen some panic-buying in relation to our personal products - lubricants, sanitiser, things like that," he Mr Oliver said.

"Our adult toy sanitisers can also be used as hand sanitiser, you know."

Mr Oliver has bulk-ordered sanitiser and will be selling it at cost-price as well as handing out free toilet paper to customers, the elderly, and the disabled in a bid to boost public morale and attract more customers.

Despite strong lube sales the shop has suffered an overall downturn as Baylis Street gradually empties of foot-traffic and more shops are hit with the coronavirus ban-hammer.

However adult shops will be allowed to keep their doors open for the time being, having been deemed an essential service by the government.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams that an adult shop would be classified as an essential service, but we're very pleased with that category and very mindful of the responsibilities we've been given in these uncertain times," Mr Oliver said.

"There are people out there that judge us for what we do, but we do have a heart. We're here to support the community in this time of uncertainty."

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As the uncertainty continues, other adult shops face the same struggles getting customers through their doors.

Wagga's Funtasia adult shop owner Michael Nguyen said on Wednesday the shop only had two customers for the entire 10-hour day.

On the plus-side Mr Nguyen has seen a 50 per cent increase in online sales as people opt to do their shopping from home, however he said the store was still in dire financial straits.

"The impact is huge," Mr Nguyen said. "Sales were good until about four or five weeks ago."

The banks have frozen their repayments and Mr Nguyen is anxiously awaiting an announcement from the government about a lease rental package for struggling businesses.

However despite the economic catastrophe currently unfolding, Mr Nguyen said Australia had overcome bigger hurdles and was quietly confident that the country would make a strong recovery.

"When we went through the GFC sales were slow in the first month, but in the second month people accepted it as a norm and sales started to pick up - especially in our industry," Mr Nguyen said.

"We recover quicker than any other industry. We'll see how we go."


This story Lube supplies dry up as panic-buyers raid Wagga's adult shops first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.