Wholesaler's traffic surges after post piggybacking on King's shop-at-home comment

·2 min read

A Charlottetown wholesale company has seen a big jump in inquiries and walk-in traffic, after a Facebook post reminding people they could do a "mini Costco like run" right here on the Island.

"We never dreamed we would have gotten the response we did, but I guess when you say Costco, it's a powerful word," said Kim Green of Kays Wholesale, which bills itself as "P.E.I.'s only full-line wholesaler."

The post was in response to Premier Dennis King's comments earlier this week urging P.E.I. residents to shop at home this holiday season rather than travel to regions with more cases of COVID-19.

"You don't need to go Christmas shopping in Moncton," King said at the weekly coronavirus briefing. "We have tremendous stores here on P.E.I."

Green told CBC that King's comment inspired a Facebook post from her husband that has really taken off.

We have had to put an extra person on just to handle the inquiries. - Kim Green, Kays Wholesale

The post, reminding people that even though their operation is a wholesale warehouse, individuals can shop there, has since been liked and shared hundreds of times.

"Our social media exploded, people signing up for our website … we have had to put an extra person on just to handle the inquiries," said Green.

At first she didn't realize why this was happening, since her husband hadn't mentioned the post to her.

"And then all of a sudden yesterday I was in and there was a bunch of people in … people that I've never seen before wandering the aisles."

King's warning Tuesday about staying home to shop was followed by news that several more cases of COVID-19 have been detected in New Brunswick this week — four additional cases Thursday alone, with three of those in the Moncton region.

The development has led the New Brunswick government to place the Moncton region back into the orange level of pandemic alertness, which means there are further restrictions in place.

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