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Shelves Clearing Out at Stores as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise

With growing case counts across the country, the Tri-State is seeing it's own resurgence of pandemic "panic shopping" like back in the spring, with products like paper towels and toilet paper once again running low in stores.

Posted: Nov 23, 2020 11:12 PM

As COVID-19 cases rise across the U.S. in what many leaders are calling a "2nd wave" and mandates tighten, shoppers are flocking to the stores to stock up on supply.

Store shelves once again running low with products like paper towels and toilet paper becoming harder to find.

"It's kind of like how it was in the beginning -- pretty bad," said Evansville shopper Tania Hoskins.

She was loading up her car with essentials after shopping at the Schnucks on Green River Road.

"Walmart right now is pretty much bare, some Walmarts are," Hoskins said. "Schnucks here, just left here, they're getting pretty bare." 

She said she was lucky to be able to walk out with a few rolls of paper towels and toilet paper for her family. 

"I think we're starting to get to that point where everybody is trying to get stocked up get ready before we get to that point where we're shutting down for good or for a long time," she said.

While shoppers might fear shortages may soon be on the horizon, Division Manager for Schnucks Markets Steven Rennels said they don't have to worry about products running out.

Once the grocery chain started to notice a spike in the purchase of paper products, management set out buying limits early to try and avoid another repeat from the spring.

"Our teams have worked very hard to secure product and to be ready to be prepared and so we're not in fear of running out," Rennels said.

After monitoring buying trends during the pandemic, he said stores are now better prepared for meeting demands.

"It may not be the brands you want, but we'll still have toilet tissue," Rennels said. "It may not be the exact brand you want, but you will have stuff on the shelves."

He said it's not just the paper products this time around though, it's food items too. Rennels said with families having to downsize their holidays, typical holiday shopping is looking a little different.

"Not typical of years past we're seeing smaller turkeys and turkey breasts, we're starting to see a surge in sales in those where in the years past it was always the bigger turkeys," he said. "So that's some of the items we're starting to see that are really kicking off in sales already."

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