- Costco stores were overrun with shoppers over the weekend as customers stocked up on goods to prepare for the spread of the coronavirus.
- Photos and videos shared online show long lines of customers both outside and in various Costco stores.
- Other images show bare shelves after customers stocked up on staple items.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
US and Canadian consumers are flocking to Costco stores to stock up as panic over the spread of the coronavirus intensifies.
Over the weekend, shoppers shared videos and photos of their local Costco stores on social media, documenting the giant lines of customers that stretched outside the store and across the parking lot.
Many of these shoppers also shared pictures of the empty shelves in their local stores.
Here’s a look inside:
This Costco store in Tigard, Oregon, had long lines on Saturday after Oregon’s first case of the coronavirus was reported in the nearby city of Lake Oswego.
By the time a photographer had visited the store, it was already out of key products such as toilet paper.
A giant line formed outside a Costco store in Honolulu on Saturday after the Hawaii Department of Health advised residents to stock up on food and necessities earlier in the week.
Duane Tanouye, a retired telecommunications worker who took photographs of the Honolulu Costco that were shared by Reuters, said 200 people were in line outside the store.
He told Reuters that the store was limiting how much shoppers could buy of certain products such as toilet paper.
Despite the restrictions, his photos show customers loading up their carts with large quantities of these items.
There have been mixed messages about how to prepare for the spread of the virus. While Hawaii advised people to stock up, Robert Redfield, the director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress on Thursday that it wasn’t necessary to do so.
Source: LA Times
But shoppers don’t seem to be taking Redfield’s advice.
One @Costco is right next to the HQ in a suburb of Seattle
Sold out of TP, water, wipes, bread, fighting for rice .1400 people at the open.
— Sherry Reynolds ???? (@Cascadia) March 2, 2020
The panic over the virus has created sales spikes for certain items.
— ???????????????? ???????????????????????? (@GimoNasiff) March 1, 2020
Source: Business Insider
According to Nielsen data, sales of toilet paper were up 5.4% in the US in the week ending January 25 compared with last year.
Bottle water, bath tissue and rice are running fast at the Bay Area #Costco because the #coronavirus is spreading in the local communities. #COVID19 #shopping #video #中文 https://t.co/uyJ0ZA6PhI pic.twitter.com/HddvRer0Ng
— Jessie Liang (@JessieKTSF) March 2, 2020
And bottled water saw a 2.4% sales increase in the same period.
— vicki ????️???? (@vickilaszlo) March 1, 2020
And because of the panic, many of these staple items are out of stock in certain Costco stores …
In addition to a considerable lack of sliced bread, the @Costco in Carmel Mountain Ranch is also out of bottled water, Clorox wipes, flour, bagged rice, and toilet paper. @10News #coronavirus #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/vXU2ZTM3pX
— Jared Aarons (@10NewsAarons) March 2, 2020
… leaving shelves in some parts of the store bare.