SAN DIEGO — The holiday season and the latest round of restrictions in San Diego County are leading some customers to panic buy once again.
Rising case rates have tipped the county into the purple tier, the state’s most restrictive level in its COVID-19 tracking system. New restrictions for restaurants, gyms, places of worship and retailers took effect Saturday.
The Ralph’s in Rancho San Diego, like many other grocery stores, has seen a high demand for Thanksgiving holiday supplies and items like toilet paper. But workers say there is no need to panic as they have enough supplies for the community.
“We’re limiting the supply of certain commodities,” said Ralph’s Rancho San Diego store manager Oliver Archuleta. “For example paper, two per customer just so that we make sure that our customers get everything that they need and we’re trying to accommodate the community so everybody gets their share.”
Some customers say they are finding a shortage of toilet paper supply.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” said customer Gwyn Reed. “They’re just making it bad for people who can’t afford groceries and supplies … they don’t have the money to get it way ahead of time.”
A recent survey found that 52% of Americans plan to begin stockpiling in the coming months or have already. Half of them say they’re doing so over coronavirus concerns while 23% say it’s due to uncertainty over the presidential election.
“We’re seeing a bit increase in business,” Archuleta said. “People are preparing for the holiday. We actually encourage our costumers to come in now because we’re not certain what to expect the next couple weeks. We want to make sure they get everything for their holiday event.”
Archuleta said his store has been preparing for its holiday supply for the past six months and does not expect to run out of turkeys, even on Thanksgiving Day.
With the holidays coming up, experts recommend buying your Thanksgiving supplies ahead of time.
“We have a list and my husband will probably shop tomorrow to get the items on the list to get it a little early just because stuff will run out I’m sure,” Reed said.