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Meijer and others urge shoppers to avoid panic buying

They say Michigan’s supply chain for food and critical supplies remains well stocked
Empty shelves in Meijer.
Empty shelves in Meijer.(WKYT)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 11:17 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Meijer has a message for shoppers who are panic buying certain items: Supplies of food and household products remain adequate.

Meijer teamed with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Retailers Association with a message Friday for shoppers to avoid hoarding. Retailers are seeing shoppers buy larger quantities of some items than necessary again.

Michigan Retailers Association President and CEO William Hallan said grocery stores will remain open as COVID-19 cases surge and the state is not in danger of running out of food. He said shoppers should limit their purchases only to what they need for a week so the supply chain isn’t exhausted.

“Retailers across the state continue to work hard to restore and maintain product levels in stores to meet the demand in communities,” said Hallan. “Consumers need to know that stores, particularly grocery stores, will remain open. Consumers should plan for essentials in weekly increments to ensure that supply levels remain steady over the next few weeks.”

Retailers reported extensive panic shopping in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic last spring. Many grocery stores and pharmacies had difficulty keeping food staples, household cleaners, toilet paper, paper towel and other items on the shelves.

As COVID-19 spreads rampant around Michigan and the holidays approach, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell encouraged shoppers to buy only what they need.

“Michigan has an ample supply of food products and other items. But, when shoppers panic buy products like toilet paper, paper towel and other items, it creates a ripple effect within the supply chain,” said McDowell. “Buying what your household will use for the week keeps the supply chain moving, ensures everyone has access to what they need and allows the stores to replenish shelves for your next shopping trip.”

Todd Weer, who is the senior vice president for stores at Meijer, said the retailer’s 120 supercenters in Michigan remain well stocked and the supply chain remains strong. But he said panic shopping disrupts the supply chain.

“Our goal is to have everything our customers need, and our supply chain and store teams are working very hard to keep our shelves stocked during these busy times,” Weer said. “As long as shoppers buy the number of items they normally would, then everyone should be able to check off the items on their grocery list when they visit the store.”

McDowell encouraged shoppers to help protect the supply chain and avoid panic shopping so everyone has access to food and critical household supplies.

“The impact of this pandemic has not been easy, and it is not over as we see rampant community spread,” he said. “One thing we can all do to help each other during this time is buying only what you need. This ensures your friends and neighbors have access to food and other necessary products during this pandemic.”

Hallan pointed out that shoppers can use curbside pickup and home delivery services at many stores to avoid going inside during the coronavirus pandemic.

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