Whether it be from Kroger, Walmart or otherwise, residents from all over Williamson County are struggling to find toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other cleaning products amidst the increasing number of coronavirus cases reported across Middle Tennessee.
With over 130,000 cases reported worldwide and nearly 5,000 deaths, the coronavirus has seen a slew of countries the world over declare a state of emergency, with Tennessee’s own governor Bill Lee declaring a state of emergency on Thursday. To date, 18 cases of the virus have been reported in Tennessee, with eight of those being reported in Williamson County.
While state officials have begun to take measures to address the increasing number of cases, a major side effect has been distinct shortages of cleaning and other household supplies, with some grocery stores imposing strict limits on the amount of toilet paper or other items customers can purchase.
In Franklin, both the Walmart and Kroger on Mallory Lane had their stock of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and a slew of other cleaning products completely cleaned out on Thursday. One employee at the Franklin Walmart told the Home Page that they “can’t keep up” with the demand, but that they were expecting to be restocked on Friday.
The Franklin Kroger had notices posted throughout the store that detailed a limit on the purchase of sanitizers, cold and flu related products, water, hand soap, cleaning products, air care and all paper products to five per customer.
Near the Brentwood and Nashville border, the story was very much the same at the Walmart on Edmondson Pike. Bleach, toilet paper and paper towels were nowhere to be found, however, an employee did say they were expecting to be restocked on Friday.
At the Brentwood Kroger on Franklin Road, toilet paper and paper towels were also completely cleaned out on Thursday. The Brentwood Kroger had also posted a limit on the purchase of certain products including hand soap, vitamins and water to just three per customer.
Spring Hill saw similar shortages as well, with both the Walmart on Main Street and the Kroger on Port Royal Road being nearly out of toilet paper Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
While retailers in Williamson County are doing what they can to meet demand, the knowledge of a shortage of a particular good often leads to people purchasing that good at numbers higher than they would have under regular circumstances, a phenomenon known as the scarcity principle.
The shortage of toilet paper and other cleaning supplies is not unique to Williamson County either, with similar shortages appearing across the country.