Middle Tennessee grocery store employees are restocking most of their shelves with essential items as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, although some shoppers wonder why the toilet paper and hand sanitizer aisles, among others, still remain empty.
Central Tennessee Kroger spokeswoman Melissa Eads explained the situation to The Tennessee Star Wednesday.
“We are starting to see our stock levels improved throughout the store, but there are some key items like toilet paper or hand sanitizers that manufacturers are still struggling to catch back up when it comes to producing that fast enough,” Eads said.
“Whatever we get in immediately gets shared out amongst our stores, but as soon as what we get in goes on the shelf it gets immediately deplenished again. There are a few items that will take a while to catch up, but those manufacturers continue to work hard to produce those products and get them to us. I think it will be a matter of time before we see those key items become more plentiful.”
Eads did not elaborate.
Eads said the COVID-19 outbreak is unprecedented for grocery stores. There’s nothing else to compare it to, she added.
Kroger now has plexiglass screens at checkout aisles to protect employees. Staff also sanitize and clean shopping carts for each customer and stay away from work if they feel sick in any way, Eads said.
Meanwhile, officials at Publix, one of Kroger’s main competitors, said in a press release that they have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by rolling out what they call contactless pay at all of their stores.
“A contactless payment is made by placing a smartphone or contactless pay-enabled credit or debit card near a contactless-enabled device, rather than swiping or inserting a card into the PIN pad,” according to the Publix press release.
“The most commonly known forms of contactless payments are Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Customers will be able to use this contactless payment option at select stores today and chainwide beginning April 4. This digital payment method will be in addition to the existing mobile pay option through the Publix app, which customers can still use to finalize their purchases.”
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