Grocery Store Madness


Photo Courtesy of Tiana Salisbury

At many local stores such as Costco, items are sold out as a result of people hoarding certain products.

Tiana Salisbury, Photojournalist

If you have ever gone to a local grocery store, you have probably seen long lines of shoppers waiting to enter or to purchase what they came to buy. Inside of that store, you would instantly notice all of the empty shelves which once had items such as paper products, medicine, and frozen food. All of this has occurred as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but the question that many people have is why are we doing this?


People tend to hoard items when they are unsure if they will need it in the future, especially in times of panic. It is no doubt that people are in a frantic state right now, which increases the chances of them hoarding items. By stocking up on as much resources as possible, people are comforted to know that they have enough of it in case they are forced to not leave their houses or if the stores have to close.


As a result, many items are selling out, which forces some shoppers to go from store to store to look for the items they need. Since there is so much over-purchasing at grocery stores, some stores have started to limit the number of each product that each shopper can purchase. This helps more people get the items that they need, but many items are still sold-out regardless.


Another cause of mass purchasing is a result of other people doing the same thing. As humans, we have a tendency to copy what others are doing. With that in mind, if someone sees another person stocking up on groceries, they will be stimulated to do the same. 


However, this creates a very big problem. When hoarding items, people are acting selfishly and not thinking about the people who actually need those items. For example, if a couple of shoppers bought all of the disinfecting products at a store, the people who need to get more because they ran out won’t be able to buy it or would have a difficult time doing so. Lauryn Tran (9) agrees and says “people who hoard items are causing others to suffer because they don’t have the supplies they need.”


To be completely honest and reasonable, people should not be buying so much at the stores. They are not only being selfish, but are also causing others to have a difficult time getting the things they need. If you ever go back to a grocery store during this difficult time, only buy what you need and think about how other people would be affected if you choose to do otherwise.