Costco Brings Back Purchase Limits on Toilet Paper and Cleaning Products Amid Supply Chain Woes
Costco is once again placing limits on the purchase of popular brands of toilet paper and cleaning products, as the pandemic continues to strain the shipping of supplier products.
Costco CFO Richard Galanti said the company is placing temporary purchase limits on the company’s toilet paper, paper towels, Kirkland Signature bottled water and high-demand cleaning products in due to “the increase in demand linked to the delta”. Galanti did not say what limits Costco would place on those purchases.
The store is also limiting wholesale purchases of popular items like Clorox wipes, according to a member of the administrative staff.
The limits extend to certain other retailers.
An employee at Long Island’s only Sam’s Club in Medford said Monday that toilet paper purchases in the store were limited to one packet per customer for about a month.
Other retailers with stores on Long Island, including grocers King Kullen, Stop & Shop, Stew Leonard’s and Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace, told Newsday on Monday that no purchase limits were in place at their stores.
“Our supply chain, while dealing with the delivery issues that abound, has been and should continue to be robust. We have heard reports from other retailers restricting such items and want the public to know that at ‘Right now, there is no purchase in our stores,’ said Carl DelPrete, CEO of Uncle Giuseppe’s, a chain of nine upscale grocery stores based in Melville, New York and New Jersey, specializing in Italian food.
Costco said it also struggled to store liquid hand soap.
It’s not just the chain stores, either: On Friday, Costco had a one-item limit on the online purchase of its most popular brands of bulk toilet tissue, such as Kirkland Signature Bath Tissue, Charmin and Kleenex Cottonelle.
A year ago, there was a shortage of antibacterial wipes and other cleaning supplies as vendors struggled to keep up with panic buying, Costco’s Galanti said, according to a transcript of its earnings call Thursday. with analysts.
“Now they have a lot of cargo, but there are two or three week delays in getting them delivered because there is a limit to the short-term changes in trucking and delivery needs,” Galanti said. “So it’s really everywhere.”
Galanti said Costco has added suppliers and stocked merchandise where possible. The company also chartered three container ships next year to transport goods from Asia to the United States and Canada. Each ship can carry 800 to 1,000 containers at a time, and they will make about 10 deliveries in 2022, Galanti said. This represents less than 20% of Costco’s shipments to Asia.
Costco saw a sharp increase in sales this summer, as cases of COVID declined and shoppers felt more comfortable walking into the retailer’s big box stores. Fourth quarter net sales increased 17.5% to $ 61.4 billion from a year ago. The net result is up 20%.
But with the peak of the delta variant, the Issaquah, Washington-based company, like other retailers, has faced delays at ports, container shortages, product and supply shortages, as well as increased labor costs and trucking and driver shortages.
– with Tory N. Parrish