And you thought that the days of toilet paper shortages were over. Unfortunately, our troubles aren’t quite done yet (much like the pandemic itself). Per Fox Business, Costco has announced limits on some basic household items including water, cleaning products, paper towels, and, yes, toilet paper.
There’s no one culprit to blame; Costco is dealing with all sorts of issues within the supply chain, including shortages of raw materials and ingredients, higher labor costs, freight costs, and a lack of drivers and shipping containers to shuttle products to stores. Oh, and if you’re someone who buys electronics and appliances at Costco, the chip shortage (microchip, not potato) is probably going to continue through next year. It’s a similar story to the other supply shortages you’ve likely experienced since March 2020.
Fox Business reports that Costco’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti mentioned these ongoing issues during a quarterly earnings call, suggesting that they were due in part to pressures from the COVID-19 Delta variant.
“We are putting some limitations on key items like bath tissues, roll towels, Kirkland Signature water, and high demand cleaning-related skews related to the uptick in the delta-related demand,” Galati told investors. “It’s a lot of fun right now.” Yeah, I’m sure it’s a real hoot in the Costco boardroom.
Galanti said inflation for Costco’s products is rising and is currently between 3.5% and 4.5%. That’s up from last quarter, which saw inflation between 2.5% and 3.5%. But does this mean that consumers will see an uptick in those low Costco prices? Probably not too much.
“Despite all these issues, we continue to work to mitigate cost increases in a variety of different ways and hold down and/or mitigate our price increases passed onto the members,” Galanti told investors on the call.
There’s no word on whether or not that delicious rotisserie chicken will be affected, but if it is, I’m sure you’ll see a lot of grouchy people waving their fists in the air.