2021-09-26 20:19:27 As Covid Wave Pushes Up Demand, Costco Limits Purchases of Toilet Paper and Water

As Covid Wave Pushes Up Demand, Costco Limits Purchases of Toilet Paper and Water

Last year, a frantic toilet paper run across the United States became a symbol of the panic that gripped Americans in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

At least one big-box retailer is now attempting to avoid a repeat of that frenzy, as the Delta variant has increased caseloads in many parts of the country.

Costco, known for its bulk food and cleaning supply bargains, confirmed in a fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday that it was “putting some limitations on key items” such as toilet paper, cleaning products, and Kirkland Signature water.

The company did not specify what those limits were, but Richard A. Galanti, Costco’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, mentioned “an increase in Delta-related demand.”

He added that “port delays; container shortages; Covid disruptions; shortages on various components, raw materials, and ingredients; labor cost pressures, and trucker and driver shortages” had all impacted supply chains.

According to a transcript of the call posted on The Motley Fool website, Mr. Galanti stated, “A year ago, there was a shortage of merchandise.” “They now have a lot of merchandise, but it takes two or three weeks to get it delivered.”

Costco has been “ordering as much as we can and getting it in earlier” to keep store shelves stocked, according to Mr. Galanti. According to him, the company has chartered three ocean vessels to transport containers between Asia and the United States and Canada. Each ship can transport between 800 and 1,000 containers at a time.

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As Covid Wave Pushes Up Demand, Costco Limits Purchases of Toilet Paper and Water