As Covid wave drives demand, Costco limits purchases of toilet paper and water

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As Covid wave drives demand, Costco limits purchases of toilet paper and water

Last year, a frantic race over toilet paper that left store shelves empty across the United States became a symbol of the panic that gripped Americans in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, at least one big-box retailer is trying to prevent a repeat of that frenzy as the Delta version spiked caseloads in many parts of the country.

Retailer Costco, known for its bargains on wholesale food and cleaning supplies, confirmed in its fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday that it imposed some limits on “key items” like toilet paper, cleaning products and Kirkland Signature Water. Used to be”. .

The company didn’t specify what those limits were, but Richard A. Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Costco, pointed to “increased demand related to Delta.”

He added that the supply chain has also been affected by “port delays”; lack of containers; covid disruption; lack of various components, raw materials and ingredients; labor cost pressures, and truck drivers and driver shortages.”

According to a transcript of the call posted on The Motley Fool website, “a year ago, there was a shortage of goods,” Mr Galanti said. “Now they have a lot of cargo, but it’s two or three weeks late to deliver it.”

To keep store shelves full, Costco is “ordering as much as it can and getting it first,” Mr. Galanti said. He said the company has hired three seagoing vessels to transport containers between Asia and the United States and Canada. Each ship can carry 800 to 1,000 containers at a time.

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