Stop & Shop Distribution Center scrambles to restock shelves

Coronavirus

ASSONET, Mass. (WPRI) — Forklift operators at the Stop & Shop Distribution Center have been busy loading and unloading household products, including toilet paper, as the company works to keep up with the demand.

The pandemic has caused customers to begin stockpiling supplies, including toilet paper, hand sanitizer face mask, latex gloves and cleaning products – leaving store shelves bare.

Vice President of Distribution Operations Jim Labrecque tells Eyewitness News that because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company has been working around the clock to ensure its stores are stocked with high-demand items.

“The demand that our customers have made in the stores is a very large increase more than double what we normally would have,” Labrecque said. “We do send multiple trucks to a single store in a day, but it’s going to take more than that to refill the stores to get them back to normal conditions.”

The warehouse takes in thousands of fresh and dried products daily that are then sent to stores across Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

“There’s really no need to panic. There’s plenty to go around. We just need time to get through the supply system,” Director of External Communications Jennifer Brogan said.

The grocery store chain recently implemented special “senior shopping hours” in an effort to protect the vulnerable population.

List: Senior shopping times at local stores »

In addition, Stop & Shop locations will soon place reminder signs throughout the store regarding social distancing and will also mark the ground with tape to ensure all customers are spaced out while waiting in line. The company also said it would install Plexiglas shields at each cash register to protect both the customers and employees.

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