As some businesses slump over the coronavirus crisis, others are booming.

Smartphones and laptops are being sold like cheesecakes to iGaming, banking and finance companies as they get ready for a possible lockdown, Scan Malta’s operations director has said.

Stephen Scerri said the electronics company was selling large quantities of devices like laptop computers, mobile phones, headsets and internet routers in preparation for their employees to work from home.

The wave of purchases started on Monday and had not ceased, he said.

Businesses were buying up “multiples” of whatever they could find.

There had been purchases of two dozen laptops worth €20,000 and 30 smartphones for €25,000.

“It is all down to the company perspective on the impact of the virus and a possible lockdown. Some are making huge orders on expensive items, others are buying cheaper items because they believe this will be temporary,” Scerri told Times of Malta.

“The problem is getting stock from abroad. Our suppliers are struggling as supplies are getting low. We are just trying to get what we can get.”

The company was lucky, he added. It had overstocked in February which meant they were able to manage the demand. But March’s sales and deliveries were entirely unprecedented.

 

“Sales are literally double what they are for this time of year,” he said.

“This week has been extraordinary. This is the first time we’ve ever seen this happen.”

The shop-floor has also seen a huge increase in footfall. While the store normally sees around 700 customers daily, this has grown to over 1,000 since Monday.

“We don’t normally do deliveries on Saturdays but there is such a high demand that we have had to extend them. We normally do 150 deliveries per day during periods like Black Friday, not in the middle of March,” Scerri said.

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