Hoping to keep their shelves stocked and preventing customers from stocking up, as they did when the pandemic began, several leading supermarket chains are re-enforcing limits on essential items such as toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant wipes.
Giant Company stores, a supermarket chain in the Northeast, posted in the store’s paper products aisles stating that customers can buy a pack of 6 or more of toilet paper and paper towels or four packs of 4 and smaller counts, as individual rolls.
According to its spokesperson, Christopher Brand, the supply chain for those products remains challenged, so the Carlisle based chain reintroduced the limits. However, he stressed Giant is seeing little evidence of panic buying and cautioned – “there is no need to create panic”.
Meanwhile, at Kroger, customers can purchase a maximum of two items when it comes to products like toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant towels. A spokesperson said the limits started at the beginning of last week and apply in physical stores and online.
H-E-B in Texas has implemented similar measures in recent weeks. Some H-E-B stores have set limits on two purchases of disinfectant and antibacterial sprays, while other stores have limited toilet paper and paper towels to two.
According to data from market research firm IRI, the three companies say supply chains for securing these items are still strained. Around 19% of paper products such as toilet paper and paper towels and 16% of household cleaning products were out of stock during the week ending November 1.
The moves come as the United States reported its highest number of new coronavirus infections Thursday— at least 108,174, according to Johns Hopkins University.
According to CNN Business, in California, Raley’s Supermarkets says it is not experiencing a run on paper products, but it is preparing to respond if that happens.
“We will continue to monitor stockpiling behavior closely and possibly reimplement [limits] accordingly in upcoming weeks” – said Paul Gianetto, senior vice president of sales and merchandising.