Costco limiting purchases of toilet paper, other items

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If you plan to purchase toilet paper, paper towels, or bottled water on your next Costco shopping trip, you may find that there is a limit to what you can buy. You can blame the supply chain issues and the rise of the delta variant.

During the retailer’s quarterly earnings call Thursday, Costco CFO Richard Galanti cited supply chain issues such as delays at ports, container shortages and COVID disruptions for the limits of purchases.

Galanti also cited an increase in demand for the delta variant, which quickly spread to the United States.

“We are imposing certain limitations on key items like toilet paper, roll towels, Kirkland Signature water, high demand cleaning SKUs related to the surge in demand related to the Delta,” said Galanti.

Galanti noted furniture delays and shortages as well as chip shortages impacting the availability of items such as computers, tablets and home appliances.

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In August, Costco released an update saying that certain items in its locations may impose temporary purchase limits.

More Americans are would have stored toilet paper again as the delta variant increases. In a similar increase in toilet paper purchases last year, retailers placed limits on how much consumers could buy on a single shopping trip.

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In a recent statement to USA TODAY, Kimberly-Clark, which makes Cottonelle and Scott toilet tissue, and Kleenex, said she was “monitoring the situation closely.” Georgia-Pacific, which makes Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper as well as Brawny and Sparkle paper towels, said customers “may experience low local demand and we are responding.”

Mike Snider contributed to this report. Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23.



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