Stores including Kroger and Costco ration water, rice and hand sanitizer as shoppers stock up on their ‘pandemic pantries’ amid fears malls will become ghost towns due to coronavirus outbreak

Thursday, March 5, 2020
By Paul Martin

Kroger Co., the nation’s biggest independent grocer, is placing limits on ‘sanitization, cold and flu products’
Costco told customers in NYC there would be a limit to amount of water and rice they could buy Thursday
Shoppers have been pictured lining up with carts overflowing with toilet paper, water and tinned food
There have also been long line outside supermarkets across the country long before they open
And with the virus spreading, there are real fears it could deal a major blow to the country’s over 1,000 malls
Big malls like American Dream and Mall of America and mall owner Taubman Centers Inc. say they’re adding hand sanitizer stations, and they’ve also stepped up disinfecting high-touch areas like doors and handrails
The US death toll from coronavirus has now risen to 11 with more than 160 confirmed cases

By LAUREN FRUEN
DAILYMAIL.COM
5 March 2020

Stores have begun to ration water, rice and hand sanitizer as shelves across the United States are cleared by shoppers stocking up amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Kroger Co., the nation’s biggest independent grocer with more than 2,700 stores, is placing limits on the number of certain products that customers buy as its shelves are cleared by people doing heavy stocking in preparation for any spread of the virus.

‘Due to high demand and to support all customers, we will be limiting the number of sanitization, cold and flu related products to 5 each per order. Your order may be modified at time of pickup or delivery,’ the company said on its website.

Costco in Brooklyn told customers there would be a limit to amount of water and rice they could buy Thursday. Amazon is also warning same-day grocery customers that delivery may be limited.

And Target and Walmart are scrambling to replenish shelves with basics like canned goods, toilet paper and other household essentials, but have yet to officially announce rationing.

Now, with the death toll rising across the country to 11 and with more than 160 confirmed cases, there are real fears it could deal a major blow to the country’s over 1,000 malls as they brace for a drop in foot traffic at time when many are already struggling with a slew of retail bankruptcies.

Stocks opened sharply lower on Wall Street Thursday with the S&P 500 sinking more than 2 per cent and the Dow Jones opening 700 points down in early trading as the market swung back to fear about the effects of a fast-spreading virus in its latest yo-yo move.

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