Andrew Petterson has been involved in the convenience store industry since 1978: he's never seen anything like it.
Larry Dickson is a butcher with a 44 year career - he's got customers lining up out the door.
Both say they have never experienced this level of panic buying and for the variety of products being purchased.
The Clifton shops are a strip of businesses that could be considered a snapshot of everyday Australian life.
There's a newsagent and a takeaway book-ending the strip of shops with a baker, beauty salon, butcher and a pharmacy in between. A laundromat, a salon and a flower shop are around the corner, fronting Hastings River Drive.
Between them, they cover just about everything we would need in our everyday lives.
But the lengthy downturn in trade looms large over some of the business, most recently from COVID-19, but earlier from the bushfires and drought.
Kathy Rogers operates Creative Flowers and says business is down about $20,000 for the last quarter.
"Things are definitely a little bit quiet. It is certainly a struggle, basically since August last year," she said.
"The bushfires really hit us and it has been an up and down financial year.
"We get our stock from Sydney Flower Market and we are watching if they will continue to operate now too.
"It has been stressful. I employ one woman and she needs her wage. It is really hard."
Mrs Rogers has operated the business 13 years and was in Peachtree Arcade for two years before that.
It has been stressful. I employ one woman and she needs her wage. It is really hard.Kathy Rogers
Newsagent employees Meryl Grant and Rhonda White said they hadn't noticed any major fluctuations because of the virus threat.
"But there's some major Powerball and Lotto prizes up for grabs at the moment, so plenty of people are buying tickets," Mrs Grant said.
"However, it was starting the quieten down last week.
"We've also had plenty of people walking in asking if we sell toilet paper. It's been really funny to experience it.
"Most people feel that the panic buying is absolutely crazy. Not one of our customers think that the world is going to end.
"One lady said that we've been through bushfires and floods and people were quite respectful to each other.
"But this is quiet different and they are not being respectful."
Pharmacy owner Stephen Duong said his three businesses had noticed an increase in people wanting extra prescriptions filled and toilet paper.
"We have restricted filling some orders to an orderly amount," he said.
"We have minimised sales of tissues to two boxes and toilet paper.
"I've been a pharmacist for 15 years and I've never seen anything like this before."
Mr Duong said suppliers' websites have crashed while there are limited stocks to refill shelves.
"We feel we have a responsibility to serve our customers - particularly our elderly residents," he said.
"Customers are understanding of the situation," he said.
We are running out of toilet paper, tissues, paper towel, canned vegetables and pasta is also disappearing off the shelves.Andrew Petterson
Mr Petterson works for his son Zac at the Star Express at Clifton.
He says people are starting to go crazy.
"We are running out of toilet paper, tissues, paper towel, canned vegetables and pasta is also disappearing off the shelves.
"Chocolate sales are also pretty strong too.
"I've never seen or experienced this in my working life."
Mr Petterson remembers times during petrol strikes when people would stock up on certain things but not to this extent.
He says a delivery is expected sometime on Thursday.
"We have already been warned not to expect to receive our full order," he said.
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Spar Australia has some 350 stores throughout Australia.
If there's one business benefiting from the panic buying, it's Port Meat Store.
Owner Larry Dickson says the last few weeks of trade have been bigger than Christmas and Easter.
"People are buying bulk packs while sausages and mince are also being snapped up," he said.
"I've never seen this level of buying; it is bigger than Christmas.
"It has really started to ramp up over the last few weeks; we've had a line-up virtually out the door."
Mr Dickson said he was not concerned about any drop in supply.
"We use local suppliers. That has been the key to maintaining strong supplies," he said.
"We've placed orders for extra pigs and chickens - so we won't be running out any time soon."
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