After the coronavirus began making its way to the United States, shoppers panicked in anticipation of a mandated quarantine and began stocking up at the grocery store.
Mostly, they stocked up on toilet paper, which is now nowhere to be found, but some stores are still running dangerously low on staples like paper towels, eggs, meat and produce. The United States has not yet mandated a country-wide lockdown, but with products flying off the shelves and increasingly more places closing, it's not yet clear when and if certain stores will be able to be restocked.
Scroll through to find out when you might be able to buy toilet paper again.
According to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, don't expect a full stock of hand sanitizer for a while.
"Hand sanitizer is going to be very difficult to have 100 percent on stock on for some time," McMillon said at a White House news conference Friday, via NBC News. "We're still replenishing it and shipping it, but as soon as it hits the stores, it's going."prevnext
As for other products, McMillon cited an issue with supply chain. Such high demand puts stress on the system and responsible for the lack of paper items, water and more currently abounding in stores across the country.
"All the retailers have been working hand in hand with the suppliers to bring that to the markets as fast as we can," he said.prevnext
In a statement, Target said its team is "working around the clock to make sure that the products you want are available when you need them."
"As demand for cleaning products, medicine, pantry stock-up items and more remains high, we're sending more products to our stores as quickly as possible," the statement shared.prevnext
Mabrie G. Jackson, director of public affairs for the Texas supermarket chain H-E-B, tweeted on March 13 that the chain "has been preparing for coronavirus for several months and we are in a strong position to keep replenishing our shelves. Customers should not panic, we have the ability to restock shelves and encourage our customers to remain calm."prevnext
Some stores had been prepared for increased purchasing in response to the coronavirus and were prepared to move to additional supply options and modified operations. According to retail grocery consultant Joe Walsh, the pace of restocks and the likelihood of items remaining on shelves once they are restocked depends on consumer behavior as well as how much inventory each store's wholesaler or supplier has lined up.
"It's a store-by-store case, but for a majority of chains and independents, they will replenish from their wholesaler immediately," he said. "Every case of bath tissue currently produced in pipeline, at a wholesaler or a warehouse, all those are spoken for."prevnext
Walsh added that the real test will not be the next shipment but the one after that.
"They all have to buy from the same five to six places," he said, referring to the manufacturers. "We're going to see limits, allocations, restrictions."prevnext
Some stores have cut their hours in an effort to give employees time to restock the shelves, including Walmart, Publix and Wegmans. On March 14, Publix, Harris Teeter and Walmart announced that their stores and pharmacies will be closing early each night to allow for sanitizing and restocking, with the change to stay in effect until further notice. Harris Teeter will close at 9 p.m. and Publix will close at 8 p.m. In a change that took effect on Sunday, all Walmart stores will now be open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Those cut hours have already led to lines in front of some stores and the demand could also lead to potential price increases.prevnext
In addition, many stores have had to place limits on the number of a certain items customers can purchase, and those lists have slowly been expanding. Depending on the store, items can include hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, baby wipes, eggs, meat, bottled water and more.
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