Grocery stores are reinstating purchase limits on items like paper towels or soap for the first time since the spring, as consumers stock up on staple
Grocery stores are reinstating purchase limits on items like paper towels or soap for the first time since the spring, as consumers stock up on staples amid rising Covid-19 cases.
With people staying at home more, retailers say there is renewed demand for paper products and frozen foods. Stores also are reporting new shortages in staple cooking ingredients like butter and spices.
Kroger Co. , the nation’s largest grocer, and Publix Super Markets Inc., a chain of more than 1,200 stores in the Southeast, reinstated limits on bath tissue and paper towels last week. Kroger also brought back limits on hand soap and disinfectant wipes. Recently, there has been some shortage of paper and cleaning products as coronavirus cases surge, said Kevin Hourican, chief executive of food-service distributor Sysco Corp.
Even as outdoor dining becomes less available, retailers say hoarding levels won’t come close to where they were in the spring partly because consumers have already loaded their pantries. But they are looking to lessons learned from the initial months of the pandemic and taking precautionary measures. Supermarkets are bringing back purchase limits on some items and carrying substitute products for others.
“We’re on the cusp of the next uptick in major pandemic buying,” said Dave Kauder, vice president of merchandising at New Seasons Market LLC, which operates stores on the West Coast. Customers stocked up heavily on paper goods and cleaning products over the weekend, he added.