At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, retail and grocery stores placed purchase limitations on essential products like toilet paper, as several customers were stockpiling. However, as the pandemic got under control, these limits were lifted. Now there are different problems retailers like Costco face, causing it to re-issue purchase restrictions on certain items.
Costco Limits The Amount Of Essential Items Customers Can Buy
On Thursday, Costco’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti announced the company is “putting some [purchase] limitations on key items.” Some of these “key items” Galanti referred to include toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, and high-demand cleaning products. However, during his announcement about Costco’s new purchase limitations, Galanti did not specify how many of each item customers would be able to buy. Some people believe the restrictions will be similar to Costco’s first round of purchase limits.
A year ago, Costco limited the amount of toilet paper, cleaning products, etc., customers could buy because “there was a shortage of merchandise,” Galanti explained. When the pandemic first struck, people were stockpiling products because they feared the coronavirus. Due to the excessive numbers of people buying items like paper towels, toilet paper, etc., Costco was forced to limit how much people could buy. However, today the reason for purchase limitations at Costco is different.
Why Is Costco Limiting Item Purchases?
Despite the vaccine and declining case numbers, the coronavirus is still the reason for purchase restrictions at Costco. Galanti explained that there’s “plenty of merchandise, but there’s two or three-week delays on getting it delivered.” Apparently, there’s “a limit on short term changes to trucking and delivery needs of the suppliers” at Costco.
According to Galanti, Costco’s supply chain is challenged by the pandemic, which has led to increased costs similar as well. Products deemed “essential” aren’t the only items that have lengthy delivery wait times. Galanti also revealed that Costco’s private label brands are struggling to meet the stores’ demand. With that, Galanti asks that customers be patient with online orders and in-store stock as Costco continues to solve the issue.
What Is Costco Doing To Improve The Situation?
There is a positive note to the purchase limit situation at Costco, as the company is taking steps to ensure customers can buy what they need. Galanti announced that Costco is now ordering shipments earlier than usual to ensure its stores are fully stocked.
Another step Costco took to prevent long-term purchase limitations is chartering three ocean vessels. Galanti noted the ocean vessels will transport containers between Asia and the United States and Canada, carrying “800 to 1,000 containers at a time. “