Some Hampton Roads store shelves are barren as COVID-19 cases climb

Posted at 8:09 PM, Nov 18, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - Walking into some stores across Hampton Roads, once again certain household supplies are harder to find.

The toilet paper aisle at the Target in Norfolk was mostly empty on Wednesday evening.

Suppliers are working to keep up with the increased demand. "I think one of the things we're seeing right now is similar to the spring. People are concerned. Consumers are concerned that they might run out of things," said Dr. Erika Marsillac, a professor at Old Dominion University who studies supply chains.

This time around experts don't expect the supplies to be as limited as the spring. Retailers have found additional suppliers for products and have created their own stockpiles. In addition, many stores are limiting the amount of certain products shoppers can buy.

"I certainly don't expect to see as many empty shelves or empty shelves for as long as we saw them," said Marsillac.

Experts say it's not necessary to panic buy. "Don't go buy multiples of everything. You won't need it and if you do it [panic buy], then that means other people won't be able to have even one," said Marsillac.

If big-named brands are missing, other brands may be available. "Diversify what you're looking for. Just because there aren't Bounty paper towels, doesn't mean you can't find the store brand paper towels," she said.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.