RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA) — In response to widespread panic buying and hoarding in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, grocery stores across the nation are limiting their hours — closing their doors early to allow employees to focus on cleaning and restocking empty shelves.
“It feels scary,” Jessica King, a shopper said.
King’s favorite Aldi in Rancho Cucamonga just modified its business hours, closing at 5 p.m., so she said she was planning to get in line at 8 a.m. — an hour before the store opens.
“People are hoarding, and I feel like we should all have respect for the fact that we all need things,” King said.
Denise Magnus and her daughter said they understand why stores are limiting business hours and the number of high-demand products people can purchase.
“This is the second store we’ve been to,” she said noting that they would likely have to go to a third to get everything on their shopping list.
The Stater Bros store in Chino was limiting the sale of water, milk, eggs, paper products, cleaning supplies and medication to one per household.
“There’s a lot of people who are being hysterical about this,” Magnus said. “I myself am just trying to do my daily shopping.”
But it’s not just day-to-day shoppers who are finding it hard to get supplies.
“Those who are more vulnerable, the older people especially aren’t able to get what they need,” Shelley Reed, a shopper, said.
To combat that, some stores have said they would offer special hours for seniors to shop when the shelves are full.
Trader Joe’s in Monrovia will open from 9-9:30 a.m., Grocery Outlet in Altadena will be open from 7-8 a.m. and Vallarta in Pasadena from 7-8 a.m. as well.
And some Inland Empire stores said panic shopping was not the only reason they were having a hard time keeping items on the shelf, they said the sudden increase in customers was having an impact as well.