CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- One of the issues early on in the coronavirus pandemic was a shortage of certain products in stores, such as toilet paper. We recently noticed some local stores are potentially running low on toilet paper again.
During the first several months of the coronavirus pandemic, it was common to see shelves nearly empty of paper products, like toilet paper. One year later and depending on the store, you may have issues once again.
Thursday morning, we stopped by a local wholesale club and saw plenty of paper products available. However, we took footage inside a grocery store in Springfield a little while later. The shelves aren't bare, but there are open spots that are noticeable.
One locally owned grocery store, Fruit Fair Supermarket in Chicopee, has toilet paper in stock, but that didn't stop the store from posting this to Facebook on Wednesday. The store said "We are setting a limit of one pack of toilet paper and paper towels per household until further notice."
Samaita Newell, one of Fruit Fair's owners, told Western Mass News that paper companies are not back to pre-pandemic levels.
"Big, paper producing companies are only making the main stream SKUs, so they are not making every single product, every single size, every single quantity,” Newell explained.
On top of that, Newell said a shortage of delivery drivers is impacting the amount of products they receive. Then, there is also a customer-based issue.
"People are still hoarding. If we allow it, someone might come and buy 20 12-packs, leaving none for other people to buy,” Newell added.
Newell said her store has to look out for their customers. She said reaction to their decision has received mixed reviews.
"They have made comments like ‘Do you not need our business? We could go to other places.’ You know people, just being people,” Newell said.
Newell and her husband, Jared, took over Fruit Fair five months before the pandemic hit.
While they're optimistic for 2022, Newell explained, “Maybe this is just normal for us...(laughter)."