Supermarkets recovering from COVID-19 panic | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Supermarkets recovering from COVID-19 panic

Mar 17, 2020

Supermarkets are still short on some items, but shoppers say it’s better than last Friday.

Meegan Holland is a spokesperson for the Michigan Retailers Association. She says people have been stuffing their cabinets, freezers, and linen closets full of supplies because they’re panicked. She expects the hoarding to taper off.

“Maybe when people's storage capability runs out. The average family of four can get by on 17 rolls of toilet paper for two weeks, so that's all you really need, folks,” she said.

More trucks with heavier loads are hauling to supermarkets across Michigan.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Supermarkets and other retailers have been getting more trucks and heavier trucks. Governor Gretchen Whitmer authorized trucks carrying essential supplies to go over highway weight limits.

“People are panicking and they don't need to because trucks are hauling essential goods to the stores,” Holland said.

Some shoppers say things are getting better. Melissa Melick was pushing a cart out of a Wal-Mart in Adrian Tuesday morning.

“It’s restocked more than it was last time I was here. There was nothing –nothing- three days ago,” she said.

Stores are still short of hand sanitizers, pasta, poultry, some soups, and toilet paper.

At a nearby Meijer store, Ardyth and Brad Butler were loading up their car with fresh produce.

Ardyth and Brad Butler said they found what they wanted at their Meijer in Adrian, Michigan.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

"We came Friday too. We just want to buy grapes and we couldn't believe it was like. It was far beyond what you even see at Christmastime or Black Friday because they had every line open and people were just packed and the paper products! And we're like, 'Why?' You know, if there's going to be an issue, would you not want to buy food? And then some people just had a lot of snack stuff. Soda, power drinks," Ardyth Butler said. 

They said they had no problem finding what they wanted, although they noted they were vegetarians and didn't need to buy meat. Poultry was in short supply.

The Michigan Retailers Association’s Meegan Holland says stores are getting back to normal and she hopes people get back to normal as well.

“I guess what's most bothersome about it is that it's the real ‘me first’ attitude, and this is a time when we should not have that attitude. We need to pull together as communities and help each other out,” she added.

Want to support reporting like this? Consider making a gift to Michigan Radio today.