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Why are shopping limits back at grocery stores?

Have you noticed some empty shelves again at the grocery store this past week? Shoppers are stocking up again, in what some are calling “Pandemic Hoarding 2.0.”

As COVID’s second wave surges, shoppers are grabbing toilet paper and cleaning items again.

Inside stores, shoppers are stocking up on toilet paper, paper towels— and even Coca-Cola products. That’s why many chains, such as Kroger, Publix, Safeway, Wegmans and Stop-n-Shop have signs up again limiting shoppers to just two of many items.

“We did proactively put a limit on those items,” Kroger spokesperson Erin Rolfes said. “Really were are just trying to make sure everyone has a chance to access the products.”

She said Kroger, which is the nation’s largest grocery chain, is seeing people hoard items like toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, wipes and hand soap.

Every grocery chain around the country was caught off guard back in March because of their limited, just-in-time supply chains.

This time they say is very different.

“The pipeline of products is really strong,” Rolfes said. “We are sending great shipments every day from our warehouses to our stores. The goal is to make sure everyone has access to the products.”

Kleenex and Scott doubled their toilet paper output over the summer.

Grocers like Kroger stocked their warehouses with as much as they could find.

The only thing truly in short supply: disinfectant wipes.

“We are seeing that our supply chain is strong, but they are still trying to react from what happened in the Spring,” Rolfes said.

As long as everyone keeps to just two of each item, she feels supplies should hold up this time.

Most Target and Walmart stores have had limits on cleaning supplies since March, and those policies have not changed.

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