Panic buying starting to ramp up again

PITTSBURGH — With COVID-19 surging amid fears of another lockdown, some people are starting to panic buy again. It’s not as bad as it was in the spring, but many are starting to stockpile items again.

“We’re seeing increased traffic - a lot more customers and the customers in the store are buying more and buying multiple quantities of the same item. So you definitely see more panic buying,” said Ryan Sprankle, owner of Sprankle’s Market in Kittanning.

The hardest items to find once again include toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and paper towels, but also some items that were not scarce in the spring. Those include juices and some canned and packaged items, due to aluminum and plastic shortages.

Sprankle says you can still get the items you need, but you might have to be flexible on what brand and size you want.

“It’s kind of like the Rolling Stones,” he said. “You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes, you get what you need.”

Giant Eagle

Consumer Investigator Angie Moreschi also talked with Giant Eagle. A spokesperson for the grocery chain says their shelves are in a good position for now, but they are encouraging customers not to hoard.

“As we enter an uncertain holiday season, we encourage guests to help one another by continuing their traditional grocery shopping and refraining from bulk purchasing,” Giant Eagle spokesperson Dick Roberts said. “If we all work together, we can ensure everyone has access to the items they need.”

Giant Eagle also says it doesn’t have any purchase limits in place, right now, but they are closely monitoring the situation and might implement them, if necessary.