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Coronavirus: Central Florida stores restock essentials amid ‘unprecedented demand’

Deliveries happening but stores still struggling to meet demand

OVIEDO, Fla. – Just after noon Tuesday, a giant 18-wheeler packed from floor to ceiling rolled into the Publix grocery store in the Shoppes at Aloma Walk in Oviedo.

Workers unloaded thousands of pounds of meat, chicken, milk and eggs.

Managers said it’s the same dairy delivery truck that restocks the stores every day around the same time.

The difference this week? Supply cannot keep up with unprecedented demand.

[RELATED: Publix adjusts store hours to sanitize and restock shelves | Publix sets purchase limits for supplies amid coronavirus]

Stores struggle to meet unprecedented demand during coronavirus pandemic.
Stores struggle to meet unprecedented demand during coronavirus pandemic. (WKMG)

Some store shelves are bare and other are emptied out as soon as they’re restocked. Stores have said they cannot keep enough toilet paper, hand sanitizer and water on hand.

In a message to employees, Walmart CEO John Furner said the retailer has seen "extraordinary growth level" over the past few weeks on pharmaceuticals, food and consumables.

He said the supply chain is working "extremely hard."

Walmart has scaled back its hours -- 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at most stores -- to restock and clean.

Publix is closing most stores at 8 p.m. to do the same.

News 6 spotted trucks rolling into Walmart and Publix stores across Central Florida throughout the day.

Stores struggle to meet unprecedented demand during coronavirus pandemic.
Stores struggle to meet unprecedented demand during coronavirus pandemic. (WKMG)

Cameras also captured long lines at retailers. Workers at the Costco near the Mall at Millenia in Orlando were using crates to direct traffic.

[MORE: Coronavirus: What supplies do you actually need? | Coronavirus: Florida shoppers continue stocking up despite President Trump saying its not necessary]

Emergency managers said unlike a hurricane, power will not go out during the coronavirus pandemic, refrigerators will work and so will microwaves.

President Donald Trump urged shoppers to “relax.”

“We’re trying to get people to buy less, if that’s possible,” Trump said. “Buy less. Don’t take everything. Just buy what you need. It’s going to stay open.”

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.


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