It’s a familiar sight by now.
You walk into a grocery store hoping to pick up a few items on your list only to find row after row of eerily empty shelves. Toilet paper is gone. Chicken, milk, eggs and canned spaghetti — all gone. Hand sanitizer has been gone for weeks.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, grocery stores are getting cleared of essential items as shoppers empty shelves of everything from frozen waffles to dill relish. Facing the surge of demand, many Greenville-area grocery stores are limiting purchases of items to try to tamp down hoarding. Others, including Walmart, Ingles and Publix, have changed their store hours, giving them more time to restock shelves. Here are some of the changes to expect the next time you decide to brave the aisles.
Hours have been adjusted to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. “This will further help associates restock the shelves for customers while continuing to clean and sanitize the store,” Dacona Smith, CEO and executive vice president of U.S. Walmart stores, said in a release. Stores are also hosting an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday from March 24 through April 28 for customers ages 60 and older. The event takes place an hour before stores open.
Purchase limits are in place for multiple items, including ibuprofen, liquid bleach, hand soap, all paper products and water, according to a sign posted at the Aldi location on North Pleasantburg Drive. Canned goods are also limited to four per variety. “We are working with our suppliers to source as much additional product as we can to keep our distribution centers stocked,” a release said.
Stores are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The grocery chain said in a release that closing two hours early will give employees time to restock produce and sanitize shelves. Publix is also designating 7-8 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings as senior shopping hours for customers age 65 and older. Purchase limits are currently in place for milk, eggs and paper products.
Store hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ingles is dedicating the first shopping hour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to senior shoppers and “those with compromised immune systems,” according to the chain grocery’s website. “As demand remains high for certain products (like cleaning products, medicine, toilet paper, etc.) we are sending products to our stores as quickly as possible.”