SAN ANTONIO – KSAT has received multiple inquiries about empty shelves at H-E-B despite officials with the grocery chain reassuring the public that there is plenty of product and no reason to panic-buy items during the coronavirus pandemic.
H-E-B spokesperson Dya Campos told KSAT on Friday that stores are restocked throughout the day and every store is restocked overnight, however, “what they are stocked with varies depending on product availability.”
There will continue to be limited availability with certain products when there is a global shortage. “Nationally, toilet paper is very tight but we are doing the best to get those items in. Water is difficult to keep on shelf because it is heavy and large, difficult to transport lots of it, that’s why we need to remind folks this is not a water crisis,” Campos said.
San Antonio Water System also said the rush on water is not necessary as the city’s water is safe to drink.
“We are working around the clock to stock as much as we possibly can, and we are making changes daily in our operation to accommodate more product,” Campos said. “There is not a schedule, we work as fast as we ever have and have brought in all resources available.”
H-E-B shared a video with KSAT Wednesday of a fully stocked warehouse in an effort to help quell fears that items are not available.
“We have the food and items that our customers need to sustain them through the long term," H-E-B spokesperson Julie Bedingfield said from inside the warehouse.
“Produce is strong, market is strong and will continue to strengthen. If customers are looking for those items that people are trying to ‘stock up’ on, those will continue to be spotty,” Campos said.
Officials did acknowledge a strain on warehousing and transportation of items as employees work around the clock to get product out. They also announced a $2 an hour pay increase for all hourly store, manufacturing and warehouse employees as well as transportation partners. The pay increase will be effective March 16 through April 12.