Taipei, Poya, one of the major cosmetic chains in Taiwan, said the 1 million surgical face masks it put on shelves in its stores Thursday sold out within half an hour.
Almost all of the chain’s 230 stores across Taiwan saw their shelves empty within 30 minutes, Poya said, on its first day selling unrationed masks to customers.
According to the Taiwan-based company, masks were available for both adults and children, selling in packages of five or boxes of 50.
Customers on Thursday were free to buy as many as they wanted, the store said, adding that it is now considering restricting future sales to one purchase per customer.
Many people complained about having to go home empty handed despite lining up outside stores. More orders are due to go on sale next week, Poya added.
COSMED, another major cosmetic chain, began accepting online orders for face masks on Wednesday and sales have so far been rapid.
Meanwhile, the company said its 400 stores in Taiwan will start selling a 50-mask box priced at NT$299 on Friday, with each customer limited to one box per visit.
Apart from cosmetic chains, several shopping sites in Taiwan, including Yahoo! Kimo Shopping Mall and PChome24h Shopping, also reported that thousands of surgical face masks went on sale on the open market in Taiwan Wednesday and were snapped up by online buyers in less than 10 minutes.
Another major e-commerce platform, momoshop.com.tw, also reported selling out their 10,000 masks that day in a matter of minutes.
Earlier this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Taiwan government began requisitioning all surgical face masks manufactured in the country, and implemented a rationing program for the public, limiting each buyer to three masks per week and later to nine per fortnight.
The ration system remains in place, so members of the public still have access to masks if private outlets sell out.
In the months since rationing was introduced, daily production capacity has been ramped up from 1.88 million to around 20 million masks per day, which allowed the requisition order to be relaxed from June 1.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel