Grocery chains including Kroger and H-E-B are bringing back limits on toilet paper and paper towels as COVID cases climb

Grocery chains including Kroger and H-E-B are bringing back limits on toilet paper and paper towels as COVID cases climb
Toilet paper limits could be returning to grocery stores.Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
  • Limits on how much toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies shoppers can purchase are returning to grocery stores as coronavirus cases surge.
  • Kroger, H-E-B, and Giant are among the grocery chains to impose new limitations in recent weeks.
  • Coronavirus cases are on the rise across the US, as colder weather drives people inside.

As cases of COVID-19 climb, some grocery chains are once again implementing limitations to prevent stockpiling.

CNN reported on Friday that roughly 19% of paper products — such as toilet paper and paper towels — were out of stock the week ending November 1, citing data from market research firm IRI. In the same period, about 16% of household cleaning products were sold out.

Some grocery chains are responding to the shortages by bringing back limits on how much toilet paper, paper towel, and cleaning supplies customers can buy.
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A Kroger representative told Business Insider in a statement that the grocery giant has "proactively and temporarily set purchase limits to two per customer on certain products, including bath tissue, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand soap."

H-E-B, a beloved grocery chain based in Texas, announced in late October that it would be limiting the purchase of certain items.
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All H-E-B stores are now imposing limits on purchases of disinfecting wipes and sprays, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide — as well as brisket. Stores in certain areas are also limiting how much toilet paper and paper towels shoppers can buy.

Northeastern regional grocery Giant brought back limits on toilet paper and paper towels last week, Penn Live first reported. "To be clear, we are seeing little evidence of stockpiling, and there is no need to create panic," Giant representative Christopher Brand told Business Insider in an email. Coronavirus cases are surging across the US, as colder weather drives people inside. Experts have predicted that the third wave of the virus could be deadliest.
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Grocers have been bracing for a resurgences in cases for months. Many companies already compiled "pandemic pallets" of items that shoppers might stockpile, The Wall Street Journal reported in September.

As of Friday, shopping limitations had not returned to many retail giants. There have yet to be reports of Costco or Walmart bringing back similar policies, limiting purchases of toilet paper, paper towels, or cleaning supplies.

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