Slow your roll, folks.
Representatives of several local stores said they’ve had another run on toilet paper supplies, reminiscent of the one that took place at the beginning of the pandemic in early March.
However, most were optimistic that the problem wouldn’t grow as bad as last time. As long as suppliers don’t develop shortages, the stores will be able to restock their shelves.
A Roseburg COSTCO employee who asked not to be named said the store ran out of toilet paper and paper towels over the weekend, after the governor announced a two-week freeze to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Pretty much when everybody heard what the state’s doing I think it kind of freaked them out a little bit,” the employee said.
He said it’s a problem that’s happened sporadically since the big toilet paper shortage earlier in the pandemic, but it’s unusual for the store to run out altogether.
He said the store would have some additional supplies coming in each evening and would be fully restocked by Wednesday.
Sherm’s Thunderbird Market also had a run on toilet paper supplies over the weekend, and the paper towel supply is low too.
Store Manager John Robertson said they’re limiting customers to one bag of toilet paper and considering a limit on paper towel purchases.
He said a lot’s changed around the store since the pandemic’s start, with many suppliers discontinuing items to focus just on their bestsellers.
Sherm’s shelves don’t look the same to him.
There aren’t as many types of Bush’s baked beans or Clorox products, and he can’t find a can of spinach, he said.
He doesn’t anticipate the toilet paper shortage will be as bad as that back in March, though, so long as suppliers keep providing enough to refill the shelves.
Richell Westbrook, assistant manager at the Roseburg Bi-Mart store, said toilet paper supplies were quite low there and customers are being limited to two packages per person or household.
While fears sparked by the governor’s announcement of a two-week freeze may have led to overbuying, Westbrook said she doesn’t see the freeze being as extreme as the rules set out back in the spring.
“You know, people get nervous and that’s the way it is, but I don’t know that we’re having a real issue,” she said.
She hopes people will not hoard supplies.
“We just want everybody to have an opportunity and be safe,” she said.