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Target, Walmart limiting sanitizer, wipes


Shoppers hoping to stock up on hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are running out of options as more coronavirus cases continue to surge.

Many stores including Target, Walmart, Kroger and Publix are restricting shoppers by placing limits on how many of these COVID-19-related items that shoppers can buy with signs citing “high demand” or “increased demand.”

Target confirmed to USA TODAY that it began limiting purchases over the weekend, limiting customers to six disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers and hand and face wipes per person. Publix set a limit of two of each of the sanitizers, along with masks, rubbing alcohol, bleach, facial tissue, and cups, plates and utensils.

Walmart said in a statement that store managers have been authorized to “manage their inventory, including the discretion to limit sales quantities on items that are in unusually high demand.” The limits can vary by location.

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Experts say the rationing and limits should have started earlier and could have prevented price gouging and hoarding.

Kelly Goldsmith, an associate professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University, has studied consumer behaviors around scarcity and how consumers behave. This panic shopping “is way worse than Black Friday because nobody’s going to die if they don’t get that flat screen on discount from Walmart,” she said. 





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