Coronavirus: Supplies still scarce at Walmart, Costco in South Bay

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- As the Coronavirus spreads and becomes a growing concerns for Bay Area residents, the need for certain supplies grows as well. Viral pictures on social media show empty shelves, people with carts full of items and other images that have residents heading for their local store.

We wanted to see just how scarce some of these supplies, such as water, cleaners and toilet paper, were at a few stores in the South Bay.

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The first stop took us to Walmart on Almaden Expressway where there was an abundance of store employees working to restock shelves with supplies that had been sold out.

Pallets of water, ramen noodles and paper towels filled the center aisles as customers grabbed items as they were being refilled.

Down the cleaning and paper supplies aisle, the result of the Coronavirus was clear.

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Some items remained on shelves, but large holes showed where hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and toilet paper rolls once were.

Still, with employees restocking shelves, the store was not sold out by any means despite being busy at noon on a Tuesday.


Our second stop took us to Costco on Almaden Expressway, a store known to be very busy.

Tuesday was no exception, however, it was not busier than usual by any means.

Nearly every cart that we went past in the store had either paper towels, toilet paper, water or cleaning supplies.

Of the carts with these supplies, most had multiple of these items including one cart with at five cases of water pushed by a man wearing a mask.

Of the brands left in the water and paper aisle, they were all only Kirkland branded items which is the Costco exclusive brand.

Little to no other brands were available at 12:30 p.m. when we went.


Finally, we cruised down Almaden Expressway to the Safeway grocery store where we found plenty of these scarce supplies from the other stores.

You could hardly see the back of the shelves when looking at water, toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

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A store employee told ABC7 News that the only item they were out of was hand sanitizer and that supplies come in at a random basis to the store.

Still, with no lines to show for and plenty of stock, Safeway seemed like one of the best options.


One customer told us that he wasn't simply buying water and toilet paper as a virus concern, but because he needed the supplies soon at his home and feared soon they may be out again.

Clearly, the Coronavirus is having an impact on purchasing at different stores.

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