Bay Area stores see empty shelves again

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Deja vu in the South Bay, as a return to the most restrictive purple tier in the state’s coronavirus reopening framework, appears to spur what looks suspiciously like panic buying.

Lingering supply-chain issues and the prospect of hunkering down at home for the holidays has many people stocking up on groceries and other necessities but will this result in shortages similar to those at the beginning of the pandemic?

It’s not clear if people are panic buying, but one thing you won’t find at this Costco right now is toilet paper.

Look closely at the cartloads of groceries and other goods people were unloading after shopping at San Jose’s Almaden Plaza Costco and you will notice something is missing — paper products. 

Shoppers said limits on some products have been in place for some time in the wake of lingering supply chain issues resulting from a run on paper products last spring in the early stages of the pandemic. 

Stocking up on groceries and other supplies as tighter health orders kicked in on Tuesday, shoppers were disappointed to find out that this store is sold out of toilet paper.

Away from the big box store scene, Willow Glen’s Zanotto’s grocery chain reported no run on toilet paper and no limits so far either, however, certainly hard to find cleaning products are still one per customer.

Zanotto’s says people are stocking up here too in anticipation of more cooking at home and the store too has been stocking up, says manager Kadisha Zanotto.

Zanotto’s limits the number of people inside and checks temperatures but no one appeared to be buying out of panic.

Back at Costco, shoppers said there is also a one case limit on bottled water.

Others had no qualms admitting they were panic buying but not everyone was disappointed to learn the shelves were wiped clean of toilet paper.

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