NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – It’s a move reminiscent of the springtime COVID-19 shutdown in Texas and across the nation — some grocery store chains are now re-imposing limits on key items such as toilet paper, paper towels and disinfecting wipes. The companies say their hope is to keep shelves stocked and prevent shoppers from hoarding as they did earlier in the year.
At Kroger, customers can purchase a maximum of two items when it comes to products like bath tissue, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand soap. A spokesperson said in an email that the limits began earlier this week and apply in stores and online.
H-E-B in Texas has implemented similar policies in recent weeks. Some H-E-B stores have instituted limits of two on purchases of disinfecting and antibacterial sprays, while other stores have limited toilet paper and paper towels to two.
Christopher Brand, a spokesperson for Giant, a grocery chain in the Northeast, said that the company was “seeing little evidence of stockpiling, and there is no need to create panic.” But since the supply chain “remains challenged,” Giant began last week putting a limit of one on purchases of larger toilet paper and paper towel sizes and four on smaller toilet paper and paper towel sizes.
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, according to data from market research firm IRI.
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. The five highest daily totals of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began have happened in the last week.
Meanwhile, nearly 60% of shoppers say they plan to stock up again as winter approaches, according to a survey of 1,000 shoppers by market research firm Inmar Intelligence conducted during the week of October 14.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The CNN Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)
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