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How grocery-chains are preparing for COVID-19 in WNY

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Posted at 2:55 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 14:55:55-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to grow across the globe we are hearing more reports of so-called "panic buying" in the U.S. In light of this, we decided to check with retailers operating here in Western New York to find out what they're seeing.

According to a spokesperson from Wegmans, stores are currently seeing a "minimal impact" on product availability. We're told that availability of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and disposable gloves are limited, but additional shipments are on the way. It's important to note that face masks are currently unavailable. Store leaders say they are increasing orders based on demand.

Wegmans says it has not been impacted by price increases, adding the store will, "always do whatever is necessary" to keep prices low.

The grocery-store chain is reporting an increase in e-commerce business and it expects demand will continue to grow, saying it is working closely with Instacart to ensure it can meet increased demand.

Tops Friendly Markets had a similar response saying they, "generally haven't experienced any large scale consumer behavioral changes in purchasing. At this time it is business as usual at all of our stores and there is no need for restrictions on items." A spokesperson says the grocery store chain is closely monitoring the situation as is in contact with state and local authorities daily. Adding, "while there may be a handful of items that have been impacted, the supply chain on the vast majority of items people buy has been unaffected."

Walmart issued the following statement to 7 Eyewitness News

“We continue to monitor the development of the coronavirus situation globally, and are closely following official recommendations while working with our suppliers to understand and mitigate any supply chain disruptions. Providing customers with the products they want and need remains our focus.”