It’s déjà vu all over again—although not quite for the same reason.
Costco is again setting purchase limits on certain items like toilet paper, NewsNation reports. This time, though, it’s not necessarily because of panic buying like in the early days of the pandemic.
Instead, Costco said the problem is an unpredictable supply chain spurred by a labor shortage that is affecting everything from cargo ships to semi trucks, making it difficult to restock.
As a result, Costco is setting limits on how much customers can buy of certain items, including toilet paper, bottled water and cleaning supplies. The retailer is hoping to stave off the kinds of shortages customers encountered last year that resulted in empty shelves.
According to USA Today, Costco is also seeing delays and shortages on furniture. In addition, a global chip shortage is squeezing the available supply of computers, tablets and appliances.
Manufacturers have noted increased demand, with the company that makes Cottonelle and Scott toilet paper as well as Kleenex, telling USA Today that it’s “monitoring the situation closely.” Georgia-Pacific, a manufacturer of toilet paper and paper towels, said customers “may be experiencing small demand surges locally.”
Labor and supply shortages have had an impact on just about everything. Even Christmas décor is expected to be in short supply—and some analysts have urged parents to start their holiday shopping early because some items may not be restocked between now and December.