Toilet Paper, paper towels nowhere to be found, again, in many Bay Area grocery stores

J.R. Stone Image
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Bay Area grocery stores running out of toilet paper, again
Similar to what we saw early on during the coronavirus pandemic, we are once again seeing Bay Area stores run out of items like toilet paper and paper towels.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Once again, Bay Area stores are running out of items like toilet paper and paper towels, similar to what we saw early on during the pandemic.

ABC7 News talked with the head of the California's Grocers Association, who says there's no need to buy as much as you can, because the items will continue to be restocked.

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Tuesday night there was no toilet paper and or paper towels at Target in Albany and at least one Walmart in San Leandro. The shelves were close to empty at a Safeway in San Leandro. The only paper product available at the San Francisco Costco was napkins.

"I get a little worried when the aisles are empty. That's when I get worried," says Deborah Albanese who had just finished shopping at Target when we spoke with her.

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But Ron Fong who heads the California Grocers Association says you need not worry about these empty shelves, even as COVID-19 numbers rise and we head into the holidays.

"So if you're out one day it doesn't mean it's going to be that way forever, you just have to wait until the next load comes in which is typically the next day," says Fong.

Brian Collins and his family were looking for toilet paper, but came across empty shelves.

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"They said they do get toilet paper every day and you just have to come earlier in the day to get some," said Collins.

In fact, we were walking inside Costco for this story and an employee couldn't believe we were looking for toilet paper at night. She says you can only find it in the morning. Those from Safeway tell us their customers are shopping less frequently, but buying more when they do make purchases.

Fong says it comes down to the fear that is out there, "People are starting to worry a little bit and overbuying is a result of people worrying. That's simply all it is."

Fong went on to say that even though many counties are now in the purple tier, that is not going to affect grocery store hours going into the holidays.

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