Coronavirus concerns sending droves of people to stores across SoCal
LOS ANGELES - Coronavirus concerns are sending droves of people to stores across Southern California.
The rush to grocery stores and supply stores are leaving the majority of shelves empty.
"People are just out here trying to survive I guess because they're scared with coronavirus and stuff," said Justin Griffin, a customer who stocked up on items.
The lines at Ralph's and Trader Joe's in West Los Angeles were very long Friday afternoon.
"It looks like the lines are about 15-20 minutes long. They're snaking all the way down the aisles. People are freaking out, said Miriam Alpern.
Alpern is a teacher and wanted to buy some items for her family at home.
"I know that everyone is freaking out so I wanted to make sure my family and I have food. Not because I'm worried about coronavirus. I'm worried about how people are reacting," said Alpern.
People at stores are buying what they can find until items are restocked.
"You gotta get creative when you're in there because all the canned foods are gone, all the pastas are gone, all the toilet paper and the sanitizer are gone too," said Laura Lacy, a customer.
Doug McMillon, the CEO of Walmart Inc. said certain items are difficult to get in stock.
"Hand sanitizer is going to be very difficult to have 100 percent in stock for some time, but we're still replenishing it and shipping it," said McMillon.
Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions sent a statement:
"Naturally, inventory of any product will vary from store to store. In the Southern California market, we are limiting the purchase of certain high demand items to broaden availability to more customers. Customers should check with their local store about specific stock levels. When products run low, we replenish them as soon as the supply chain allows."
CVS also sent a statement regarding coronavirus:
"The demand for certain products due to the COVID-19 outbreak may cause shortages at some store locations and we are re-supplying those stores as quickly as possible. Our robust supply chain includes hundreds of small, medium and large suppliers, providing us considerable flexibility and adaptability. We remain in constant contact with our supplier partners, and are onboarding new suppliers in key focus areas, to help respond to this fluid and evolving situation."
Trader Joe's is working to restock shelves. Their statement reads:
"Crew Members are working hard to get product to our stores and on our shelves as quickly as possible. We appreciate our customers' understanding, as it is always our goal to provide them with the items they need and want."
The Southern California Grocers Association will not have a comment regarding coronavirus until Monday, according to a spokesperson.