Amidst global concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak, local shoppers may find stores empty of cleaning and hygiene products such as hand sanitizers and rubbing alcohol.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Guam. However, residents have already started preparing themselves in the event the virus does come to the island by buying multiple sanitary products to protect them from infection.
For the past three weeks, Pay-Less market locations throughout the island have been running out of rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer gels, and disinfecting wipes.
While these items have seen an increase in demand, Pay-Less Market General Manager Mike Benito says that store supplies have been keeping up with their weekly restocks, even though some orders have been shorted by suppliers.
“We’ve been either running out, sometimes shorted. If we order 20 cases, we may have gotten half. But it has still been pretty consistent. We still have a lot of the other supplies. We have a lot of soaps on our shelves … things you can use to wash your hands,” Benito said.
However, if the markets cannot keep up with the demand, Benito says that Pay-Less would have to consider placing restrictions on the number of sanitary products customers can purchase.
“We haven’t set up purchase limits yet. We haven’t done anything like that yet. But we may, if it gets to the point where people come in and try to hoard 8, 9, 10 cases of product or just taking things off the shelves. We’re going to let our customers know if we’re going to do something like that,” Benito said.
At this time, Benito says that Pay-Less, along with other chains such as Home Depot and Kmart, should be able to keep up with the demand as much as possible.