IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A lot of us would like to avoid chaos at our neighborhood markets triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.
But empty cabinets and a bare fridge don't leave us with much of an option.
"Products are flying off the shelves. Some items are moving a lot faster than others," said Jeffery Temple Fred Meyer director of corporate affairs.
"We have seen a lot of shoppers making sure they're stocking up for themselves and for their families," Kathy Holland Albertson's communications and public relations.
Panic-buying and gripping shoppers are making it difficult for us to get the things we need.
Starting this week at least 5 local markets are taking steps to reduce shoppers over-purchasing.
Albertson's is adjusting its hours for senior citizens and vulnerable neighbors to ensure they receive the items they need.
"We had received a lot of comments coming in from elderly senior centers and elderly community members, concerned about getting out and about to pick up the things they need," said Holland.
Starting Thursday, March 19 from 7 a.m to 9 a.m Albertson will reserve every Tuesday and Thursday for those vulnerable shoppers. The store is asking customers for compassion and understanding while it temporarily designates these special hours for shoppers most at risk in the communities.
"We're asking the community to respect those hours to be able to let the senior citizens or other at-risk populations such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems to be able to come into the stores and shop, without the large groups of people," said Holland.
Fred Myers announces its current mission is providing access to fresh food and essentials to the community.
Early March the store activated a preparedness plan.
They say the supply chain teams are fully staffed and working overtime to ensure supplies are continuously being delivered to stores.
"Our priority is to all get aligned in making sure that we've got the goods going out to our stores. We've got all hands on deck. Our stores are working hard, they're working long hours, our truck drivers are fully committed, and driving long hours as needed. We've extended their shifts wherever possible to make sure that we get goods to our stores for our customers," said Temple.
Winco Foods is addressing quantity buying concerns from customers.
To help this, they plan to temporarily close various locations during the early morning hours to clean and re-stock.
The store hours are being left up to individual locations.
They are reminding shoppers that they will not be accepting returns on products over-purchased related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Walmart is monitoring coronavirus panic shopping situations daily.
Walmart has authorized store managers to take extra steps in managing inventory.
Shoppers will be limited to sale quantities on items that are in unusually high demand.
This policy will also be applied to online Walmart shoppers.
Sams Club has seen increasing numbers of shoppers.
They say they are working to replenish store items as fast as they can
They are requesting club members to limit their shopping supply for a two week time period.