Big box stores adjusting rules for customers as COVID numbers rise

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Some big box stores are adjusting their rules for customers as we see another surge in coronavirus cases.

Walmart said they’ve seen people stockpiling and Kroger is back to limiting items.

Meanwhile at a local grocery store, Shoppers Value has some of their shelves fully stocked.
Every store is different but many shoppers said it’s hard finding certain items again.

“Crowdedness, empty shelves, no restocking… within a certain amount of time,” shopper, Cynthia Lovelace said. “If it is restocked, their empty within matters of minutes.”

Cynthia Lovelace explains what she’s seen in grocery store across Little Rock lately.

She isn’t the only one seeing a lack in items but one woman said she sees everything that she needs.
“Everything seems to be pretty full when I go, I have to go different Kroger’s,” Ashlee Breashears, who shops at Kroger said.

This is part two of the race for certain items in grocer stores.
“Rubbing alcohol, I haven’t seen that in quite a while,” Shopper Wonder Sims said. “I haven’t seen bleach, but it’s a little bit of bleach but not Clorox bleach and the bleach wipes. They vanishing pretty fast.”

“I have not seen any Lysol products on the shelves until recently and when you see them, you better grab them while you can. Especially with the holidays coming,” Lovelace said.

We spoke with a few stores who said they’ve seen a shortage in spices, paper towels and cleaning supplies.

The second wave of stockpiling is happening as we see coronavirus cases and hospitalizations go up across the country.

“I’m already stocked up pretty much, it’s just a few little items that I might need but I’m going to try to get mines together fast,” Sims said.

With this latest surge, some retailers like Walmart have went back to counting the number of customers in stores to make sure people can socially distance.

In a statement, Walmart Cooperate communications said:

“Walmart began limiting capacity in our stores to 20% in early April, or lower if mandated by a local government, and that limit has remained in place since then. We know from months of metering data in our stores that the vast majority of the time our stores didn’t reach our self-imposed 20% metering capacity. Out of an abundance of caution, we have resumed counting the number of people entering and leaving our stores.”

On top of people grabbing what they can get, there’s a bigger need ahead of the holiday season.
A few shoppers said the big issues is how aggressive some people are about hot ticket items.
“It’s just empty shelves, people are just… it’s ridiculous the way people are just going about getting things,” Sims said.

Meanwhile Lovelace said she saw people arguing and taking products out of other people’s carts on Wednesday.

“It’s pathetic to see people acting as childish as they are, about snatching things out of baskets, that are someone else’s,” Lovelace said.

Shoppers value said they won’t limit the items per customer. Some of the shoppers we talked to said they hope to find those cleaning products. Meanwhile, others said they are considering starting to stock up themselves.

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