Peter Latzel was first in line at the Langley Costco on Sunday, March 8th. After two days of trying to find a store with toilet paper in stock, the Surrey dad got up early to make sure he could get enough to meet his family’s needs. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley stores struggle to keep up with demand for toilet paper

Lineups reported and purchase limits imposed as virus-inspired bulk buying continues

After two days of trying and failing to find a store with adequate stocks of toilet paper, Peter Latzel got up early Sunday morning, March 8th, to be first in line at the Langley Costco store.

“It’s crazy,” Latzel told the Langley Advance Times.

Latzel, who lives near the Surrey-Langley border, said he wasn’t among those who were hoarding out of concern about the COVID-19 virus, but he was being forced to queue up to make sure he had enough for his wife and two kids.

“I’m just trying to keep up with my family’s needs,” Latzel said.

A Langley woman, who did not want to be named, said she decided to arrive early at Costco for the same reason

“I’m going to buy two packages of toilet paper and some wipes,” she explained.

“They were out everywhere else [I looked].”

Sunday morning, a Costco worker was telling customers that the store went through its entire stock in a matter of minutes on Saturday, but more had been brought in.

“[But] if you’re not here by 9 a.m. you may not get any,” he warned.

One witness reported the in-store line-up for toilet paper exceeded 30 people in Costco at one point on Saturday.

READ ALSO: Toilet paper roll selling for $100 on Craigslist as people capitalize on COVID-19 fears

READ MORE: Amid COVID-19 panic, B.C. psychologist urges shoppers to not clear out grocery stores

Down the road from the Costco store, the Save-On-Foods store had managed to re-stock its shelves after they were emptied Saturday.

One staffer noticed the biggest bulk buying appeared to be by younger people, “anyone born after 1990,” while older patrons were buying less.

At the Langley Walmart store, signs announcing a two-package-per-person policy had been posted on nearly-depleted toilet paper racks.

“Thank you for being understanding and allowing all customers to have access to paper,” the notice said.

In Langley City, the Independent Grocer was almost sold out of toilet paper by mid-day Saturday, with the exception of a handful of small packages, and the pharmacy next door was completely out of disinfecting wipes.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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