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Toilet paper shortages continue at local grocery stores

Wade Warner picked up a toilet paper roll at a Stop & Shop supermarket during hours open daily only for seniors Thursday in North Providence, R.I.
Wade Warner picked up a toilet paper roll at a Stop & Shop supermarket during hours open daily only for seniors Thursday in North Providence, R.I.David Goldman/Associated Press

Toilet paper continues to fly off store shelves in the Greater Boston area.

On Thursday afternoon the Stop & Shop supermarket on Freeport Street in Dorchester had no toilet paper in stock. The Trader Joe’s stores in Brookline and Acton were also sold out. Market Basket in Littleton didn’t have any, either.

Bathroom tissue has become a hot commodity since the coronavirus outbreak, and as shelves are wiped clean by worried customers, stores are working hard to get it back on the shelves to meet the surge in demand.

And it’s not just Massachusetts: toilet paper is in limited supply nationally, according to Maria Fruci, a spokeswoman for Stop & Shop.

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“As soon as product becomes available, we are working swiftly to get it to our stores and on-shelf," she said in an e-mail. "Availability will vary by store — and should also be noted that stores receive deliveries of goods multiple times per day.”

In an effort to deter hoarding, some stores put a limit on how much toilet paper a customer can buy.

“We implemented a limit of 5 a while back and reduced to a limit of 2 earlier this week,” said Jennifer Brogan, a spokesman for Stop & Shop.

Packages of Angel Soft bath tissue products rolled along the production line at a Georgia-Pacific plant in Florida this week. The company has employees working around the clock to help fill empty store shelves.
Packages of Angel Soft bath tissue products rolled along the production line at a Georgia-Pacific plant in Florida this week. The company has employees working around the clock to help fill empty store shelves. Georgia-Pacific LLC

Georgia-Pacific, a manufacturer that produces Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper, is also trying to keep up with the demand.

“Our facilities are operating normally (running 24/7) and are working to ship out as much product as quickly as possible," company spokesman Greg Guest said in an e-mail. "We recognize the demand for our products and our primary focus is to do all we can to meet consumer demand.”

A two-person household (where both people are staying home) will typically go through about 9 double rolls (or 5 mega rolls) in two weeks, according to a statement posted on Quilted Northern’s website.

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“While it’s hard to give you exact timing for when product will be available at different locations, we can assure you that our production is going well and we continue to send trucks of toilet paper out to stores nationwide around the clock,” the statement said. “If you can’t find TP where you shop, ask the retailer when the next shipment is due into the store. They should be able to tell you.”






Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.