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Old 03-11-2020, 01:58 PM
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Went to Costco This Morning. Was a Little Bit Scary.


Went to Costco this morning about 10:30 am. I usually go in the morning midweek and it is generally not crowded. It was packed this morning. I almost turned around. They were out of water (they did have some kind of "alkaline" water that I had never noticed before. They were stripped of all paper goods. While people were generally orderly there were multiple instances of loud voices in the background. It made snowstorm buying look reasonable.
One thing that really pissed me off was that they continued to check receipts which caused a real bottleneck getting out (they don't handle lines well in the best of times, but they are fast enough at the registers so it doesn't usually make much difference).
This is Northern New Jersey. Has panic buying started near you?
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:24 PM
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I stopped in at Costco in Myrtle Beach on Saturday. There was a sign up front that something was limited to two per member, but I didn't stop to find out what it was, although the thought briefly flashed through my mind that if they'd only sell me two, I wanted them both, but I was there to buy Tito's Vodka and Kirkland scotch, so was on another mission and let it go. The liquor store was not affected by panic or limits. I usually stock up before hurricanes; concentrating on beverages you can drink without ice. I bought two handles (1.75 liter bottles) of the Tito's and two of the Kirkland 12 year old blended, and took a flyer on the Kirkland 22 year old Speyside single malt. This wasn't a hurricane shopping trip, I was passing through Myrtle Beach on my way from Charleston and my local Costco lacks a liquor store (stupid North Carolina liquor laws).

Last edited by Bill Door; 03-11-2020 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:31 PM
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but I was there to buy Tito's Vodka
I hope it was only for drinking.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:42 PM
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I was there this morning. Plenty of TP, I didn't see any shortages, but it was packed for what normally is a slow time. That aisle was particularly bad, but didn't notice any signs or rationing. I also noticed the clientele was considerably older and whiter than I'm used to.

Kirkland branded booze was $2.50 off if you buy 2 of any kind (so $5 total), but the American vodka was not included, only the French one.

Baking soda is cheap, I gotta get in the alkaline water game.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:55 PM
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Had to go in for pet food, was pretty busy but got insane as I was leaving, every space in the parking lot full and people trolling the lanes waiting for people to leave--this is normally a weekend only thing. Completely sold out of most cough medicines, all out of the good Kirkland 400 pack exam gloves (pissed me off because I actually USE those year round and genuinely needed more medium size) paper towels have apparently become the new toilet paper because they were completely out and hand sanitizer is nonexistent. Nuckin' futz. At least I'm now stocked in for 4-5 weeks worth of pet supplies so I won't have to be doing THAT again for a while.
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Old 03-11-2020, 04:12 PM
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Went to Costco this morning about 10:30 am. I usually go in the morning midweek and it is generally not crowded. It was packed this morning. I almost turned around. They were out of water (they did have some kind of "alkaline" water that I had never noticed before. They were stripped of all paper goods....
This is Northern New Jersey. Has panic buying started near you?
Same at our Costco also in northern NJ, I guess it could be the same one, but this was last week. No toilet paper, no bottled water except the "alkaline" stuff, noticeably more crowded than usual for the time. In the Whole Foods within walking distance of our house I noticed bottled water yesterday when we happened to be there for something else. Their prices aren't *that* much higher that people wouldn't strip their shelves also if really desperate for the item. Then again maybe the water was all gone at Whole Foods an hour after we left, maybe there was more water at Costco an hour after we left. But there's obviously some panic buying going on. Earlier today at Target the 'immune system booster' section was empty, and the large OTC pain reliever section 90% empty.
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Old 03-11-2020, 04:16 PM
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I was in Target over the weekend and wanted to buy a box of Band-Aids (the box of assorted sizes, because I'm a klutz and regularly need Band-Aids) but that whole section of the store was missing quite a few products. I don't know if it was because of this panic buying or just poor stocking on the part of the store.
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Old 03-11-2020, 04:50 PM
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Dang it.
I miss all the fun. I love panic buying. It feeds my hoarding tendencies.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:03 PM
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I hate how the panic buying can self perpetuate. We have not done any panic buying, partly because I have already stocked us up on disaster supplies. But, we do normally buy tp from Costco, and we are getting low. Now I'm worried about being able to get it, and wondering if I need to stop at the grocery store and grab some before it disappears there too. I don't want to contribute to the panic buying, so I'd like to just wait for it to be back in stock at Costco, but I can only wait so long...
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:16 PM
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Amazon had TP last I looked.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:32 PM
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Went to Costco... This is Northern New Jersey.
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Same at our Costco also in northern NJ
I have often said that the Clifton Costco is where humanity went to die.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:32 PM
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Oh please; that's what Smirnoff's is for. The making hand sanitizer I mean.

Last edited by Bill Door; 03-11-2020 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:39 PM
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I have some moonshine. But it would probably burn your skin off. Bad stuff.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:45 PM
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Went shopping at the supermarket today. It was kind of quiet for midafternoon, I didn't even need to take number at the deli. No shortages, there was a display full of sanitary wipes. I didn't look for purell. Plenty of water of all kinds.

Upper valley New Hampshire.
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:15 PM
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They're rationing toilet paper at our local supermarket in Cambridge, Mass.
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:32 PM
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Went shopping at the supermarket today. It was kind of quiet for midafternoon, I didn't even need to take number at the deli. No shortages, there was a display full of sanitary wipes. I didn't look for purell. Plenty of water of all kinds.

Upper valley New Hampshire.
Glad you're managing all right in your area.

I just dropped in to say how much I appreciated seeing your username along with the thread title.
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:36 PM
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They're rationing toilet paper at our local supermarket in Cambridge, Mass.
Times like this make me glad I installed a bidet toilet seat.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:08 PM
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I went to the supermarket on the way home from work and as the cashier was ringing up my stuff, I asked her what stuff people had been panic buying. She said toilet paper, rice and booze. And there was a notice in front of the register that purchases of hand sanitizer and disinfectants was limited to four per customer.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:46 PM
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I live in Los Angeles next to Burbank, and there is a Costco Business Center that's closer to me than the main retail locations. This location tends to be a lot less busy since it's more B2B oriented and does not have all of the same products as their main stores (not to mention that their advertisements don't include Business Center locations), so the parking lot is typically less than half full when I go by on my way home from work.

When I went last week, I was shocked to find the parking lot completely full, with several cars roaming around to catch a spot as someone is leaving. Appalled, I just bailed out and figured I'll go the next day. Since then it hasn't eased up much, but the last couple of times I at least was able to find a space without too much hunting. Inside, there was an empty pallet that used to have one of the brands of cereal that was on sale, but at least the other brand that was on sale still had a couple of boxes left for me to snatch up.

They also seemed to be running lower on milk than usual, but not anything else I was looking for. That said, I did not bother to check for toilet paper, as I thankfully still have plenty.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:24 PM
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The beer aisle at my Rite-Aid was well-stocked.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:59 PM
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Hey, remember after 9/11 we were all supposed to stock up on duct tape?
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:41 PM
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Amazon had TP last I looked.
They had slim pickings for disinfecting wipes though. And we actually needed them at work because they're running low.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:44 PM
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Tonight, after the university announced it was closing, the same grocery I went to earlier in the day was ow low on some locally-preferred breads and dried beans/lentils/peas/garbanzos. There were no dried lentils at all i the bulk section. Still plenty of TP and water.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:46 PM
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Hey, remember after 9/11 we were all supposed to stock up on duct tape?
And plastic sheeting.

It'd be a hell of a Saturday night in some quarters.

Last edited by squeegee; 03-11-2020 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:49 PM
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There were no dried lentils at all i the bulk section. Still plenty of TP...
Well if you bulk up internally on enough Lentils, It will come out so dry that no TP is needed, ie; fight the cause not the symptom is just good strategy .
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:43 AM
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The fifth horseman of the apocalypse - panic buying.
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Old 03-12-2020, 05:52 AM
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I have often said that the Clifton Costco is where humanity went to die.
I learned to go there at 9:30am on Saturday. Yes, there's a crowd waiting to get in. No, they haven't set up the samples yet. But you can buy your stuff and actually get out of the parking lot without wanting to slit your wrists.

I went to the Bayonne location a couple of days back, busier than usual, but the scary part was the upper shelves of the warehouse were empty, at least for all the dry goods. I've never seen that much empty space at a Costco.
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Old 03-12-2020, 07:28 AM
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Some (all?) Costco stores are suspending the sample stations for the duration.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:25 AM
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I haven't noticed any panic buying in southern Merrylande, tho there was a large empty expanse of shelves in Aldi where they usually have their miscellaneous gadgetry, so probably not related, unless there's a new run on cutting boards and stainless utensils. Our Food Lion is undergoing some construction and rearranging, but I was eventually able to find everything I wanted - no obvious emptiness.

As for TP, since it doesn't have a sell-by date, I always stock up when there's a good sale. We've got 5 12-packs in reserve, along with whatever is in drawers in each bathroom, so we're good.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:32 AM
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I've been thinking of going to costco and buying a couple 50# bags of rice just in case there is a more serious quarantine.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:38 AM
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How much rice do you consume that you're thinking of stockpiling a hundred pounds of it?
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:40 AM
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How much rice do you consume that you're thinking of stockpiling a hundred pounds of it?
Not a lot, but if things get really bad it would help me get enough food for a few months.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:10 AM
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Rice has hashtags now?
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:12 AM
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Just got back from Walmart in Dallas. No shortages, but they did have a sanitary station set up at the entrance. And there was a line at said sanitary station.

I've never seen that before.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:26 AM
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Well if you bulk up internally on enough Lentils, It will come out so dry that no TP is needed, ie; fight the cause not the symptom is just good strategy .
Thanks for the tip of the week wolfman

May I also add that bagels make everything come out hard and dry too
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:38 PM
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Well if you bulk up internally on enough Lentils, It will come out so dry that no TP is needed, ie; fight the cause not the symptom is just good strategy .
Lentils make things, um, "smoother" in this regard. Eat too much of them and you're going to visit the bathroom a lot.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:01 PM
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Well, the toilet paper is vanishing here in southern Ontario. Some grocery stores are completely out; Fortinos at Brant and Upper Middle, which is a really big store, had not a single roll. I was able to find it at Freshco (when I wasn't even trying to get any) and Food Basics, but their stocks are dwindling.

But everything else (except hand sanitizer) is plentiful. There is enough food to feed an army. I do not understand the toilet paper thing.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:23 PM
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Well, the toilet paper is vanishing here in southern Ontario. Some grocery stores are completely out; Fortinos at Brant and Upper Middle, which is a really big store, had not a single roll. I was able to find it at Freshco (when I wasn't even trying to get any) and Food Basics, but their stocks are dwindling.

But everything else (except hand sanitizer) is plentiful. There is enough food to feed an army. I do not understand the toilet paper thing.
Ha, you'll be sorry when the TP factories shut down and you have to make do with corncobs and newsprint.

Actually I don't get it either. Kroger was nearly out of TP today.

I also don't understand the bottled water frenzy (cheap wine is more antiseptic).

Last edited by Jackmannii; 03-12-2020 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:29 PM
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What the TP thing says to me is that people are chronically understocked on toilet paper. I normally buy TP at Costco and it lasts us forever (even for a family of 4), but maybe most people normally just buy 3 packs, making them unprepared for any extended period of home quarantine?
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:32 PM
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I have to go to Costco after work to pick up a prescription, alas.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:44 PM
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My mom went to Sam's Club yesterday - no TP, no hand sanitizer, said it was a mad house at 9am.
Monday I went to HyVee (grocery store), no hand sanitizer, few bottles of anti-bacterial soap were left, and the only TP was the single ply generic gas station bathroom quality stuff. They were still passing out food samples, more than usual, actually. The deli was like a dinner party.

Re: disposable gloves - if you have a beauty supply store near you, give them a try. I picked up a box last weekend at Sally's and they were well stocked. I usually have problems as I wear large or extra-large, and they can be difficult to find in a regular store, but Sally's always has them.

Bad joke - this run on TP kinda makes me think back fondly to the dialysis days where a single roll would last me a few weeks. Now that I actually need the stuff, there's a run on it.
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Old 03-12-2020, 05:52 PM
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Ever since we ran out of TP in college during the last week of school and I had to bum (sorry) a roll off the girls upstairs to get my roommate out of the bathroom, I've always had a stash of a couple dozen rolls on hand. The local grocery stores seem to still be fairly well stocked, except for hand sanitizer.

My plan for extended self-quarantining is to hit Bevmo Saturday for a couple of handles of Wild Turkey and Bacardi.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:05 PM
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No tp at meijer near me, I suspect folks from GR made the trip up to raid the smaller cities stash. I succumbed to panic buying and got not 1 but 2 bottles of chipotle aioli then into the cart went 8 boxes of frozen Boston market dinners and they weren’t even advertised for sale.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:34 PM
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Amazon had TP last I looked.
I looked today, more out of curiosity than anything, and they're sold out of all the major brands. One was listed as "will be in stock March 23rd" and changed to "Unavailable" as I looked at it. You could still get some weird bamboo toilet paper or novelty stuff but not the stuff you'd buy at the grocery store.

My son works at a Target and said that his store sold $12,000 in toilet paper in the last day or two. But he also said that they're constantly moving toilet paper and no one seems to feel like they won't keep getting more. Hand sanitizer, on the other hand, is just gone for the time being.

I was at Costco earlier in the week and didn't notice anything exceptional. The most obnoxious crowds were the herds of human raccoons around the free sample stations, blocking me from getting through because they needed their tablespoon of free quinoa. Go buy some toilet paper and get out of my way, people!
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Old 03-13-2020, 12:01 AM
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I use the weird bamboo toilet paper, which is why I buy toilet paper online
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:08 AM
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Plenty of TP at the county seat's WalMart two days ago. More hand sanitizer at the mountain market yesterday than a few days before. I'm due to run by a CostCo next week but not for panic supplies. I hope the big Asian market nearby will be open then. Has anyone stateside noticed Asian grocers shuttered?
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:45 AM
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Went to my local SoCal Food 4 Less yesterday, no sign of panic buying.

Stopped by again tonight to pick a few things I missed on my first trip and now the place was packed. Toilet paper was about half what I saw yesterday though still plenty though they are enforcing a weird "only two packages per cart" policy but is weird in that if you buy two single rolls thats the limit, but a single 24 pack isn't the limit. Also the one thing I noticed almost everybody was buying was bleach, people had about 5-6 per cart.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:58 AM
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One thing to remember is that those people who have a Costco branded Citibank card get their annual reward checks with their February statement. The checks have to be cashed in the store and that always increases foot traffic.
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:12 AM
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I went to a Kroger in Bryant, Arkansas last night. Most of the produce had been sold out (plenty of apples left), they were almost entirely out of beef, chicken, and pork in the meat section, there were only a few packages of toilet paper left (I bought one), and the store was pretty crowded.
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Old 03-13-2020, 08:04 AM
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The pharmacy tech at Costco last night told me that customers were lined up from the doors the entire length of the building at 9 am yesterday. I didn't really appreciate the magnitude of that until I remembered that Costco doesn't open until 10.
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