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The Great Freezer Mania Of 2020!

By Chris Dalzell @Dalzells

Chest, Upright and Undercounter Freezers Sell Out - Coronavirus - Lockdown Panic Buying

A Look Back Before ‘Lockdown’

It seems like an eternity ago now but life before ‘Lockdown’ is a little less than just 3 month ago! Can you remember normality or is it just a wistful dream? Certainly the days and weeks leading up to March 23rd will be remembered as something of a chaotic, surreal blur for many of us. The fear, the unknowing and of course most importantly the suffering of those who contracted Covid-19/Coronavirus and the pain and worry of their loved ones and friends are all very much to the fore of thise memories. Sadly, many succumbed to the terror that befell the virus, not just in our little corner of the world but all over.

One thing few of us will forget were the empty shelves in supermarkets, corner stores and even pharmacies of basic food stuffs, paracetamol, multivitamins and even bottled water! Alongside this was the stranger, what some would call ‘Panic Buying’ of less ordinary items for many including all manner of baking consumables (Bake Off has a lot to answer for!) and UHT Milk – Yuck! We unknowingly at Dalzells were to find ourselves somewhere at the center of what some would call a period of mania. How was an appliance store, all be it with some hardware and gas cyclinder (Flogas) provision to find itself soo busy at such a time….?

Chest Freezers, Upright Freezers, Undercounter Freezer…Any Freezer!

Beginning in mid February we began to see an unusual pick-up in trade for a largely forgotten home appliance, one which had largely become a niche item. Purchased occasionally by farmers, hunters, commercial businesses of a type and very large familys… Indeed, if purchased for a home it often found itself relelgated to storage in the garage. I’m talking of course of the humble Chest Freezer!

The first customers, mentioned in passing that they were ‘Prepping’ for the worst, an insurance policy if you will should the scenes seen in China, Hong Kong and most recently in Italy and to some extent in Spain arrive with the same vigor here in Northern Ireland and Ireland. The pace steadily grew, we got in some early large orders with Refrigeration manufacturer Ice King among others and our long relationships with these businesses paid off with continued orders being fufilled for us when others weren’t entertained.

Stock Arrives – First Come, First Served!

We quickly sold out of Chest Freezers, then Tall Freezers, then Undercounter Freezers…. We then nearly sold out of Integrated Freezers of all types as folk decided to make do with any provision at all that allowed them to ‘stock up’! At this point the local media started to pick up on the story as our Twitter and Facebook posts went viral – First the Armaghi, the Belfast Telegraph (click for links!) and then international as reporters from the Republic of Ireland started to call for comment!

As things got ever crazier we had to insist on ‘collection only’ policy for Freezers as our delivery teams couldn’t cope and all sales became a ‘first come, first served’ basis as and when stock became available. A full container of Table-Top Freezers sold within a day of arriving!

Televisions also became incredibly busy as folk prepared for the the seemingly enevitable ‘Lockdown’ in the wake of Italy’s decision, with Netflix, Prime and iPlayer at the ready! Stock here was also hard to source following temporary factory closures in South Korea, Japan and China.


An observation from one of Warehouse Team shortly before lockdown in the UK, prompted him to make this viral video ‘Made In Italy’ at the height of the contagion in Italy.

March 23rd – ‘Lockdown’ & Telesales!

When ‘Lockdown’ came on March 23rd we’d already been operating differently for more than a week – Counter Sales, social distancing and kerbside deliveries to name but a few. We continued trading for a few short days with the increased demand for Gas Cylinders and Hardware as allowed by the regulations but we too closed ultimately on the Friday in of our own choice.

A limited hours ‘Telesales’ service resulted in further sales as stock arrived and was collected by customers as our delivery service ceased, replacement appliances and the prevalence of folk bingeing on streaming services online resulted in steady ‘big screen’ TV sales. All but a core team of the family were now ‘Furloughed’ on the Govt. scheme.

The Easing Of ‘Lockdown’

We’ve now fully returned to work, all our showrooms are open as normal with necessary precautions and our free delivery service has also resumed. Freezers of all types continue to sell well with talk of a ‘Second Wave’. Things aren’t normal, we’re sure they will become normal in time, however long that takes.

Whatever the future holds we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our incredible staff, suppliers and of course you – our fabulous customers who’ve supported us soo well throughout Lockdown and since. Thank-you!

We truly, and perhaps more than ever before appreciate your custom!

Dalzells Of Markethill - Quality | Value | Service - Established 1956

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