Columbus grocery stores are filled with cleaning supplies and toiletries

Last year many things were bought out because of people buying in bulks

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Aside from college students coming back to school and clearing out stores;  shelves have been pretty full recently. That’s a big difference from last year when panic buying left many of those same shelves bare.

“Last year I know we’d come in the store looking for like tissue, paper towel, Lysol and it was just hard to find the things that we needed it’s like the shelves were empty no matter what store you went to,” said customer Katrina Little.

Customers weren’t the only ones dealing with these issues. Assistant store manager at Sunflower in Columbus John Kemp said he had never seen anything like the shortages they had last year.

“We struggled a little bit trying to get some of the product in but you know it was a lot of supply issues and you know people were buying you know things in mass and they just couldn’t keep up with production,” said Kemp.

Full shelves like these were nearly nonexistent last year due to backed-up products or people buying, but customers and sunflower store managers feel that things won’t be that extreme again but if so they have a plan.

“We’re trying to do a little bit of a better job with keeping some things in stock. We keep cleaning products like bleach a lot of canned vegetables, we try to keep a lot of toilet tissue and paper towels and stuff stocked,” said Kemp.

Since COVID-19 numbers began rising again, Kemp said more people are coming in wearing masks, and some things may be low, but not enough to cause new shortages.

“The supply issues have been a lot better, trucks have been on time, and we just haven’t experienced as many outages as we had but it’s still you know some things are kind of out but it’s getting better every day,” said Kemp.

Store officials encourage people to continue buying what they need instead of buying in bulk, so there will be something left for their neighbors.

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