Grocers scrambling to keep up with demand

VIDEO: Grocers scrambling to keep up with demand

Over the last 24 hours, lines stretched outside grocery stores and Costco warehouses for essential items.

Retailers are scrambling to keep up with increased demand following the governor’s decision to tighten restrictions across the state.

For the most part, the long lines have disappeared; but it appears every other shopper is buying toilet paper, just like eight months ago.

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You could say it’s like deja vu all over again.

“I don’t get it for myself,” insisted Saied Manavi of Bellevue, as he studied the toilet paper shelves. “I get it for somebody else.”

Toilet paper is once again a hot commodity at this Bellevue QFC.

“Just (to be) safe (than) be sorry,” said Voom Weymouth of Medina. “I’m out anyway, you know.”

Ashley Lee of Renton was asked if she feared the store might run out of stock.

“Yeah, I guess that’s what it is,” she said. “And I don’t want to have to go back to the store in a couple of weeks.”

This was apparently sparked by governor reimposing some restrictions to try to repel the coronavirus surge. Even then, he urged residents not to hoard.

“That is really not necessary and most unhelpful right now,” said Gov. Inslee on Sunday. “Our supply chain is strong. Buying up everything you can get your hands on really hurts everybody.”

But just like in March when he imposed the first set of coronavirus restrictions, toilet paper and sanitizing supplies are once again at the top of many shopping lists.

“We’re asking people to only take what you need,” said Tiffany Sanders, QFC Corporate Affairs Manager. “We’ve got plenty in the supply chain.”

Sanders says they learned some lessons the last time this happened.

“We knew that the holiday season and cold and flu season was probably going to be a little dicey at times,” she said. “And so we made sure that we’ve been planning for this to make sure that we have all the products we need.”

She says they restock the shelves every night so there is no danger they will run out of stock, and certainly not toilet paper.

Still, QFC is limiting the amount of toilet paper a customer may buy, and they are asking shoppers to limit the amount of shopping they do.

The number of people in the store at any time has been reduced to just 25% of capacity.