As COVID rises, NJ stores are again stocking up toilet paper, wipes
With COVID-19 cases climbing again in New Jersey, could there be another shortage of toilet paper? And will certain cleaning supplies be plentiful again anytime soon?
Stores have learned their lessons, insiders say.
“What the grocery industry experienced in March was unlike anything we had ever seen before. We’ve certainly learned from that experience and have worked incredibly hard since then, not only to replenish supply, but also to make sure we don’t find ourselves in a similar situation,” a Wegmans Food Markets spokeswoman said in a written response to New Jersey 101.5.
Target has maintained per-customer purchasing limits on products like toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, flushable wipes, hand and face wipes, multi-purpose spray cleaner, gloves and more.
“We’ll adjust limits as needed, and respectfully ask all guests to consider their immediate needs and purchase accordingly, so more families can find the products they need,” a Target spokesperson said.
Stop & Shop has maintained purchase limits, which vary by store, on disinfecting wipes and other household cleaning products, as supply continues to be limited nationwide. The chain has not yet re-applied product limits on paper goods in-store, as it did back in the spring.
It’s a similar policy at Wegmans.
“If everyone focuses on buying what they need, when they need it, there will be enough supply to go around. We have purchase limits on products in key categories where supply continues to be a concern, and will expand the use to purchase limits to additional items, if and when necessary,” the spokesperson continued.
Wegmans has spent the last several months sourcing additional suppliers, bringing in new brands and working with Wegmans Brand suppliers to “build up our own holiday and winter reserves, in our own warehouses, as well as at our suppliers.’”
Stop & Shop also still offers special shopping hours for customers 60 and older, each morning from 6 a.m. until 7:30 a.m.
“Stop & Shop is not currently experiencing the levels of stockpiling seen at the onset of the pandemic. We are well-positioned in terms of Thanksgiving turkeys and other staples for the holiday season and encourage everyone to continue buying just what they need — there is no need for panic,” a spokesperson for the grocery chain said in a written response.
Target also has been coordinating stores, distribution centers and suppliers so that cleaning supplies, food, over-the-counter medicine and baby products are "fast-tracked through the supply chain and prioritized for re-stocking."
Back in August, a company leader with Clorox told Reuters that it would likely be 2021 when the company could meet the increased demand for disinfecting wipes, "because it’s a very complex supply chain to make them."
For information on appropriate cleaning against coronavirus, including EPA-approved disinfectants, visit the CDC website.