Target, CVS, Costco limit sales of key items to avoid coronavirus stockpiling
As consumers, concerned about the fast-growing coronavirus pandemic, continue to stockpile household essentials, stores are beginning to place limits on what they’re able to buy.
On Tuesday, Target said that it will be limiting the number of key items each consumer is allowed to purchase, beginning this weekend. Brian Cornell, CEO of the 1,900-unit chain, announced the decision in an email to customers.
Target staffers are “working around the clock to make sure that the products you want are available when you need them,” wrote Cornell. “As demand for cleaning products, medicine, pantry stock-up items and more remains high, we’re sending more products to our stores as quickly as possible.”
Only last week, the retailer said it was still meeting shopper demand for items like sanitizers and other cleaners.
Similarly, a CVS spokeswoman says that customers are currently only allowed to purchase five hand sanitizers per person. Costco recently posted signage about quantity restrictions in its locations. Shoppers at the members-only club are able to purchase two units per day of products including toilet paper. Walgreens is also limiting high-demand items, such as disinfectant wipes and cleaners, face masks, hand sanitizers, thermometers and gloves to four of each item per customer, according to a spokeswoman for the drugstore chain.
Meanwhile, a Walmart spokesman says the retailer is working to replenish items as quickly as possible and divert them to those areas of the country that are most in need. He noted that the company has “empowered store managers” to limit quantities of items in high demand at their discretion.
Many retailers, including Nordstrom, Best Buy and REI, have been proactive about communicating to customers how they are ramping up their cleaning methods to sanitize stores. Target told customers this week that it is cleaning touch checkout screens every half hour and has temporarily stopped food sampling in its shops. The Minneapolis-based company has staffed up to support order pickups as well and set up a forum to answer shopper questions.
Best Buy told shoppers Wednesday that it has added hand sanitizer stations to its entrances and at all cash registers. The electronics seller is also keeping sanitizing wipes near work stations and counters to keep surfaces germ-free.