Online Originals: COVID-19 entices shopping frenzy

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- We are continuing to follow how COVID-19 is affecting people here in the East, specifically how shops and customers are reacting to the pandemic.

Many of the shelves that were fully stocked early in the week are now wiped clean of items such as disinfectant supplies, hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

Shoppers are clearning off shelves the moment shipment trucks are unloaded. For local stores like Target and Tropicana Supermarket, those trucks only come once or twice a week.

“I mean it is always nice to be prepare, sometimes people over-prepare. But, it never hurts,” said Jose Gutirrez, Tropicana Supermarket Manager.

Some shoppers say they’re just trying to stay ahead of the curve, preparing for the worst.

“I’m usually a preparedness type of person. So, I have toilet paper and paper towels,” said Patricia Cannon, shopper. “I’m just here to come out and do some grocery shopping and I see that they have some, so, I’m grabbing some!”

Jose Gutirrez, Tropicana Supermarket Manager

Some stores here in the East have a purchase limit on certain items. This allows more customers an equal opportunity to purchase high-demand house-hold necessities.

“Everybody is looking for Lysol, paper towels and toilet paper. The most number one is hand sanitizer,” said Gutirrez.

Tropicana Supermarket in Greenville, N.C. does not have a limit on the number of items a customer is able to purchase. Store managers’ do not foresee it being an issue in the future either.

The empty shelves seen inside many stores in the East, are causing some shoppers to stress.

“I am just trying not to get anxious about all of this and encourage others not to be anxious about the coronavirus. Go along with what the experts are saying,” emphasized Cannon. “I feel like the retailers are doing the best they can on providing us what we need.”

Brian Cornell, Target CEO, released a coronavirus Q&A concerning their store to help ease customers worries.

The store’s intention is to keep all of their locations across the country open and operating on a regular schedule.

Cornell is aware that many guests are stocking up on key essentials at this time and is diligently working with his staff to accommodate this demand.

According to health professionals, the best thing to do at this time is remain calm. They will continue to communicate updates and changes as they arise.

“I just do whatever they tell me to do,” said Cannon. “I just try to listen to the experts because that’s what they are. Listen to them as best you can and just do what they say. Other than that, there’s nothing else we can do.”

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