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article imageGrocery stores prepare to curb 'panic buying' as COVID-19 surges

By Karen Graham     Nov 12, 2020 in Health
As the number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to soar, experts are raising concerns about possible shortages during the upcoming holiday season, prompting some grocery stores to announce limits on some items.
Two grocery chains -Kroger and H-E-B -have already started putting limits on the number of essential items, such as toilet paper and paper towels, disinfecting wipes, and hand soap, according to NBC affiliate
Kroger is assuring customers that the move is temporary, but it remains unclear how long it will be in place. The purchase limits will apply to both in-store and online orders.
"To ensure all customers have access to what they need, we've proactively and temporarily set purchase limits to two per customer on certain products, including bath tissue, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand soap," a Kroger spokesperson said in a statement.
According to Business Insider, H-E-B, a beloved grocery chain based in Texas, announced in late October that it would be limiting the purchase of certain items.
All H-E-B stores have imposed limits on disinfecting wipes and sprays, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide — as well as brisket. Some stores in certain areas have also put limits on toilet paper and paper towels.
Northwestern regional grocery - Giant - has brought back limits on the purchase of toilet paper and paper towels, according to Penn Live. "To be clear, we are seeing little evidence of stockpiling, and there is no need to create panic," Giant representative Christopher Brand told Business Insider in an email.
There have yet to be reports of Costco or Walmart bringing back similar policies, limiting purchases of toilet paper, paper towels, or cleaning supplies, although many companies have been putting together "pandemic pallets" since back in September, preparing for the surge in virus cases forecast by public health officials.
More about coronavirus, Grocery stores, panic buying, Holiday season, Staples
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