Grocery Stores Move to Limit Purchases Amid Panic Buying

“It should not be this hard to buy toilet paper.”

That declaration by Supervisor Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) on Tuesday night summed up the feelings of many Loudouners.

Over the past week have shoppers have found empty shelves in the toilet paper aisle, as well has soap and sanitizers. That fast-paced buyup might slow a bit now that many grocery stores have either placed caps on purchases of certain items or strongly encouraged them.

At Harris Teeter, customers can now purchase only three items from six categories of products—water, toilet paper, canned meat, pasta, cleaning supplies, and Airborne, cold, flu and allergy products.

Wegmans has also placed a two-item purchase limit on certain products, like toilet paper, diapers, hand sanitizer, pasta and cold and sinus medication.

Target, too, is limiting the purchase ofproducts, like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and bottled water, as is Costco.

Giant Food and Safeway haven’t placed formal limits on purchases but are encouraging their customers to purchase only what they need.

According to a March 10 statement, Walmart executives have authorized store managers to implement limits on the sale of certain high-demand products.

Being aware that many shoppers are either too afraid to leave their homes or want to limit their time out in public, a few of those grocery stores are continuing to offer secondary grocery pickup options, even as some limit their hours.

Giant Food announced that it does not plan to reduce its business hours, but that it has pausedits pickup services in response to inconsistent supply levels. While Giant’s delivery service, which operates out of its local distribution centers, is still available, the store announced that the service will fluctuate based on the high demand.

Safeway also does not plan to amend its hours of operation, according to a statement fromAlbertsons Companies President & CEO Vivek Sankaran. Its grocery and pharmacy delivery services and Drive Up & Go service are also still available.

Target has not changed its hours of operation and continues to offer customers the option to pick up online orders in the store or use its drive-up service, in which an employee loads a customer’s order into their car.

All Harris Teeter locations, many of which typically operate 24/7, are closing each night at 9 p.m. to clean and restock. According to Harris Teeter’s official COVID-19 response, customer orders made throughExpressLane might experience delays.

Wegmans, which is now operating from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, has limited its Instacart grocery delivery and curbside pickup times and has suspended online catering and cake orders. Customers can still use Instacart’s Leave at My Door feature and can order groceries on DoorDash through the Wegmans 2GO app.

Although the Leesburg Walmart Supercenter has reduced its hours from 24/7 to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. to clean the store, its online orders are still available for in-store pickup. Walmart’s NextDay delivery is unavailable, though.

At Costco, it’s business as usual, aside from more intensive cleaning and restocking measures now in place.

One thought on “Grocery Stores Move to Limit Purchases Amid Panic Buying

  • 2020-03-18 at 7:34 pm

    Well, lets’ see how this works out. But right now, limiting my purchase doesn’t matter since all the stores I have visited are out of most of the items I need.

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