When the COVID pandemic forced us into lockdowns last year, many people responded with panic, stockpiling certain essentials like toilet paper and disinfecting wipes. But while shortages have hit a number of products lines since then, the days of widespread scarcity across the country appeared to be long gone. Unfortunately, the Delta variant may be hindering all that forward momentum, as some Costco customers have started pointing out that select items are missing from their local stores. Read on to find out which products are disappearing from Costco locations again.
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Customers say some Costco stores are running out of essential items again.
Costco customers have taken to Twitter to complain about shortages of essential items at various stores in the U.S. According to the complaints, these items include many of the same ones people were hoarding last year, like toilet paper and water.
“What is wrong with people? Did we not learn from last year at all? I pulled up to Costco and they are out of toilet paper and water. These people never learn,” one customer tweeted on Aug. 18. Just two days earlier, another customer wrote, “There wasn’t any bottle water packs or toilet paper at Costco today….sign of the times to come.”
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Others say Costco is limiting the number of items customers can buy.
According to some customers, various Costco locations have started placing purchasing limits on these items again to try to avoid hoarding. When one Twitter user tweeted out that people should consider stocking up on toilet paper again, another replied, “I’m glad to share that Costco started limiting toilet paper and waters a week or so ago.” Someone also posted a photo of a Costco sign that says “limit 5 per customer” in front of shelves with cases of bottled water, while another tweeted that their store was limiting purchases by two cases per customer.
Best Life has reached out to Costco to confirm that stores are limiting purchases again, but has not yet heard back.
Many people are stockpiling these products again.
Costco may not be the only retailer facing this issue, however. On Aug. 12, data organization Inmar Intelligence released results from a recent survey about customers’ plans to shop amid the current COVID surge. Out of the 1,000 survey respondents, 69 percent said they are planning to stock up soon on items such as toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. And 75 percent also reported that they have already seen product shortages while shopping recently.
“While we were all hopeful that the pandemic was starting to be behind us, we are unfortunately seeing the opposite, and shoppers are reacting,” Holly Pavlika, the senior vice president of corporate marketing at Inmar Intelligence, said in a statement. “Shoppers are beginning to have flashbacks of last summer, being in lockdown and not having enough household supplies.”
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Costco recently had to bring back certain COVID precautions.
Costco shortages are not the only things reminding shoppers of the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020. In late July, the retailer had plans to cut special senior hours, which were put in place last year in order to allow customers over the age of 60 and those immunocompromised or with disabilities to shop early without crowds. But just two weeks after Costco announced they were getting rid of the modified hours, the retailer was forced to reverse this decision as COVID cases and hospitalizations started to rise again due to the Delta variant.
“Instead of discontinuing, we’ll maintain hours for seniors Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice,” Richard Galanti, Costco’s chief financial officer, told USA Today on July 19.
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