Panic buyers return to Bay Area grocery stores

Bay Area

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KRON) – Some local retailers are already seeing a return of panic buying as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the Bay Area.     

A local grocer believes his store can keep up with an increase in demand for products.

Ginger Novak does not need a shopping cart while walking the aisles at the Pleasant Hill Grocery Outlet.

She shops regularly and does not buy in bulk but is still pleasantly surprised to see most of the shelves are still fully stocked.

“Actually I was. Yeah, a pretty good supply of everything,” Ginger Novak said. 

Jason Olson hopes to keep it that way.

“Currently, we have not been advised on any kind of shortfalls in the supply chain. Our fingers are crossed that that’s how it’ll be,” Olson said. 

Olson and his wife Kathy co-own this Grocery Outlet.

He says although panic buying led to some bare shelves early on in the pandemic, supply caught up with demand within weeks, and he says his business is more prepared this time around for any uptick in buying that could be coming.

“With everything going on, we decided today to put a limit on two paper product packages per household. That’s something we would not normally want to do, especially as a sales person or in retail, we do not want to limit product, but we feel its kind of our obligation as being part of the Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Concord, Walnut Creek community here, that we want to ensure that there isn’t an extreme panic buying where someone’s coming in and buying 30 packages of toilet paper, which quite honestly in unnecessary,” Olson said. 

Customers say keep it simple.

“I think the supply chain is stout and good, and seem to buy what we need to get and come back the next time,” Eric Davis said. 

Trust the items will be there when you return.

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