Nov 17, 2020 - Economy

Supermarkets, retailers struggle to fill increasing demand as virus surges

People shopping in San Francisco on Nov. 2.

People shop for groceries in San Francisco on Nov. 2. Photo: Liu Guanguan/China News Service via Getty Images

Americans are again stockpiling cleaning supplies and toilet paper as the U.S. experiences another surge of coronavirus, according to AP.

Why it matters: More than half of the counties across the country — 58% of them — have seen the peak of their coronavirus infections this month, and 76% of counties have peaked at some point so far this fall, causing people to stockpile supplies like they did at the start of the pandemic.

The big picture: Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner said Tuesday that supply chains can't meet the rising demand, especially in locations in communities experiencing sizable spikes in new cases, CNN reports.

  • Supermarket chains including Kroger, Publix and H-E-B are now limiting in-store and online purchases of toilet paper and other paper goods along with cleaning supplies to reduce the strain on supply chains, according to NBC News.

What they're saying: Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, told AP he expect stores to be better prepared for the uptick.

  • “A more informed consumer combined with a more informed manufacturer and a more informed retailer should provide all of us with a greater sense of ease and ensure we can meet this growing demand, “ Freeman said.
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