During the four weeks ended Feb. 22, 2020, medical mask unit sales were up 378% in the United States, according to Nielsen
As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, many retailers are trying to keep up with customers stocking cold and flu remedies, household sanitization products, and grocery staples. In response, The Kroger Co. is limiting the number of these items customers can buy.
"Due to high demand and to support all customers, we will be limiting the number of sanitization, cold and flu-related products to five each per order," Kroger said on its website. "Your order may be modified at time of pickup or delivery."
These limitations are for ecommerce orders, which, according to New York-based tech firm Chicory, are on the rise in urban areas due to the outbreak. Brimingham, Ala.-based meal-planning service eMeals, which gives users the option to order groceries online, an increase in orders submitted to its online grocery partners on Tuesday, March 3, compared with Tuesday, Feb. 25, too. Orders through Amazon were up 67%, Walmart up 41%, Instacart up 29%, Kroger up 13% and Shipt up 11%.
Nielsen's initial research shows that consumers are rushing to build what they're calling "pandemic pantries." During the four weeks ended Feb. 22, 2020, medical mask sales were up significantly (319% dollar growth/378% unit growth) in the United States.
Hand sanitizer sales were up 73% in the same four weeks, but Nielsen said that it can project, based on trends elsewhere, that sanitizer sales won’t peak for some time.
Employing nearly half a million associates who serve more than 11 million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,761 retail food stores under a variety of banners, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.