Target Corp. is the latest retailer to place limits on the amount of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes customers can purchase at one time as a coronavirus-inspired shopping frenzy has led to empty shelves of those products at many stores.
"Due to high demand and to support all guests, we will be limiting the quantities of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers and hand & face wipes to 6 per guest," say signs the Minneapolis-based retailer placed in its stores over the weekend.
Last week, the nation's largest grocery chain, Kroger, also restricted the number of sanitizing, cold and flu-related products to five per order.
In addition to hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, other products that have been in short supply on store shelves in the last couple of weeks as a result of stockpiling include toilet paper and face masks. Costco is among the retailers who have also experienced an uptick in stockpiling behavior and shortages of certain products.
Target CEO Brian Cornell told analysts last week that the retailer has seen "aggressive shopping" across the country in its stores as consumers have been stocking up on household essentials, disinfectants, and food and beverages. He added that the company is working closely with its domestic vendors to bring in more inventory for what he said he expects to be heightened demand for these products for at least the next few weeks.
On Friday, Target's same-day delivery service, Shipt, which handles deliveries for Target as well as a number of other retailers, said it is encouraging its delivery people to drop off items at customers' front doors instead of directly handing them to customers.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we're encouraging our shoppers to drop your items off at your front door, where applicable," Shipt said in an e-mail to its customers.
Other delivery operators such as Postmates and Instacart have also instituted similar no-contact delivery options in recent days amid heightened concerns about the coronavirus.
In its e-mail, Shipt also noted that some items may be unavailable because of high demand.