Grocer chain Kroger announced Wednesday that it had experienced a 30 percent nationwide surge in sales over the month of March as Americans stock up on food and essentials during the coronavirus outbreak.
Reuters reported that Kroger's stock rose about 5 percent as a result of the news, while the company also plans to borrow $1 billion to increase its cash reserves in preparation for any blowback in the future, citing the uncertainty of the economy.
“It is too early to speculate what will emerge as the ‘new normal’ in food consumption at home or what the impact on sales will be in future periods,” the company said, according to Reuters.
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs or are otherwise without employment due to orders by governors around the country to stay at home and shutter nonessential businesses, throwing the economy into turmoil.
“After experiencing strong sales in February, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a significantly greater lift in sales across both physical retail stores and digital channels in March,” CEO Rodney McMullen added, according to Reuters.
Panic-buying has also increased around the nation, as uncertainty about the length of the pandemic has led many Americans to cook more meals at home.
Grocery chains have reported issues with keeping some essential items such as paper towels, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and other products in stock, and some chains have opted to implement special business hours to protect elderly and other at-risk Americans.
Some states have taken drastic measures to protect grocery stores, such as in Minnesota, where grocery workers were temporarily classified as emergency workers.