Retailers and grocers warn against panic shopping amid second wave of COVID-19 case surge

Michigan

Customers wear face protection in a supermarket in Vienna. (Photo by ROLAND SCHLAGER/APA/AFP via Getty Images)

LANSING, MICH. (WLNS) — If you’re stocking up on food and supplies amid the second wave of the surge in coronavirus cases, retailers have a message for you: don’t.

“Michigan has an ample supply of food products and other items. But, when shoppers panic buy products like toilet paper, paper towel and other items, it creates a ripple effect within the supply chain,” said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell. “Buying what your household will use for the week keeps the supply chain moving, ensures everyone has access to what they need and allows the stores to replenish shelves for your next shopping trip.”

Grocery store leaders today responded to news that consumers may be buying larger quantities than necessary at the stores.

According to McDowell, COVID-19 has changed everything about how people come together, especially with the holidays right around the corner.

“The impact of this pandemic has not been easy, and it is not over as we see rampant community spread,” he added. “One thing we can all do to help each other during this time is buying only what you need. This ensures your friends and neighbors have access to food and other necessary products during this pandemic.” 

Signaling evidence of consumers starting to panic shop at levels first seen during the early months of the pandemic, Michigan Retailers Association President and CEO William Hallan urges Michiganders to limit purchases to a week’s worth of supply.

“Retailers across the state continue to work hard to restore and maintain product levels in stores to meet the demand in communities,” said Michigan Retailers Association CEO William Hallan. “Consumers need to know that stores, particularly grocery stores, will remain open. Consumers should plan for essentials in weekly increments to ensure that supply levels remain steady over the next few weeks. As retailers continue to do their part to keep retail environments safe to shop, we are asking consumers to do their part by limiting quantities to ensure there is enough for everyone.”

If consumers are leery about shopping in person, Hallan encourages consumers to consider using services like curbside pick-up and home delivery.

Meijer, which has 120 Supercenters and grocery stores throughout the State of Michigan, continues to focus on keeping ample supply for its customers.

“Our goal is to have everything our customers need, and our supply chain and store teams are working very hard to keep our shelves stocked during these busy times,” said Todd Weer, Senior Vice President of stores for Meijer. “As long as shoppers buy the number of items they normally would, then everyone should be able to check off the items on their grocery list when they visit the store.”

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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