HEB says don’t panic, limits some purchases, restocking daily

Shoppers clear some store shelves of cleaning supplies, toilet paper

While it's important to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic, officials are urging residents not to panic or hoard

SAN ANTONIO – Long lines and some empty shelves are what shoppers are finding at supermarkets and big discount stores as concerns about the new coronavirus pandemic continue.

And, even as images of near-empty cleaning supply, snack and even toilet paper aisles circulate across social media, H-E-B has a message for its customers: Don’t panic.

“What you’re going to see is around-the-clock stocking of shelves,” said H-E-B spokeswoman Julie Bedingfield. “Yes, you may walk into an H-E-B or see online an empty shelf, but that is temporary.”

She said trucks are coming in daily, replenishing high-demand products as quickly as they can.

To try to ensure everyone can find what they need, H-E-B implemented temporary limits on certain items.

Customers will currently be limited on purchases of the following items:

  • Disinfecting & antibacterial sprays/wipes – 4 units per transaction (including baby)
  • Liquid bleach – 2 units per transaction
  • Toilet paper – 2 units per transaction
  • Hand sanitizer – 4 units per transaction (including baby)
  • Hand soap – 4 units per transaction
  • Water (including baby) – 4 multipacks and 4 gallons per transaction, for a total of 8 items
  • Hydrogen peroxide – 4 units per transaction
  • Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol/wipes – 4 units per transaction
  • Latex gloves – 4 units per transaction
  • Face masks – 2 units per transaction

At the H-E-B on Loop 1604 at Bulverde Road, the Friday morning foot traffic appeared heavy. Shoppers were wiping down their carts with sanitizing wipes made available at the door and then filling them up.

A handful of shoppers said they found most of what they were looking for.

“What we need our customers to understand is they don’t need to panic,” Bedingfield said. “They don’t need to make panic purchases.”

She said the grocer prepared for the situation and is in a good position for the long term.

About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.