Coronavirus Concerns Drive Increased Sales at Grocery Stores & Online

Stop and Shop says total in-store and online sales last week were 33% higher than the same week one year ago.

By: Tim Studebaker

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CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – As more and more people prepare to stay home to slow the spread of Coronavirus, stores have been busy with people stocking up on food and supplies.

John DeCataldo was shopping at the Stop & Shop in Cranston on Friday.  He says, “I’ve never seen it so crowded.  It was crazy in there.”

Patricia Tudino of Cranston says, “A lot of the shelves are empty.  And the lines are very long.”

It’s been busier than usual for stores like Stop & Shop.  A representative for the company tells us their total in-store and online sales last week were up by 33% compared to last year.

DeCataldo says, “Stocking up for some meals, you know, for a week or so, and then got some bottled water.”

Tudino says, “Whatever I could find that I needed.”

Frank Branca of Cranston says, “Everybody’s trying to out-buy everybody.”

Stop & Shop says they’re increasing staffing levels to deal with the rush, and they’re increasing cleaning and sanitizing efforts in their stores.  They’ve also shut down self-service counters, like the olive bar and coffee station, replacing those options with pre-packaged items.

Meanwhile people in quarantine are turning to online shopping, through services like Peapod, for those essential items.

Emma Dombrowski, in quarantine after a trip to Italy says, “Trying to order food from Stop and Shop, where they can come out to the car to give it to us.  That way we’re not really touching anyone.”

Store shoppers say if the Coronavirus pandemic gets worse, they may turn to online grocery shopping as well.

DeCataldo says, “I mean, I’ve never done it before, but it would definitely be worth it.”

Tudino says, “Yeah, that I’ve thought of.”

Branca says, “That’s a possibility.”

Stop & Shop says some high demand items are out of stock on Peapod, and there are limits on other items.

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© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, Cranston, News, Rhode Island