Market Basket Operations Supervisor Talks COVID-19 Grocery Demand

TEWKSBURY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Aisle twelve is where the toilet paper usually is in the Tewksbury Market Basket, and there wasn't a square to spare Friday afternoon.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal overheard one exhausted Market Basket employee tell a dumbfounded shopper that a new shipment had arrived just two hours ago, but it was gone right away.

Joseph Schmidt is in charge of operations for Market Basket, and spoke about efforts to keep the shelves stocked. He was remarkably calm, especially for someone whose stores are being swarmed with people demanding more toilet paper than is humanly possible to use in 14 days.

"We see these increases in business, usually with a snowstorm," Schmidt said. "It's something we're accustomed to. We've seen the impact for four or five days now, which is something that's new to us, however, our store and our team is doing such an exceptional job, and they're really taking care of business."

Market Basket employees were constantly restocking the milk. There was no more hand sanitizer, and nearly all the rubbing alcohol was gone, as people sought to make their own hand sanitizer. Even the toothbrushes were gone.

Schmidt said the company was working with distributors to get shipments out as soon as possible, and that their busiest store was in Chelsea. He also said that, the further you travel from Metro Boston, the better stocked the stores are.

Schmidt added that mental health breaks are encouraged for the busy employees.

Elsewhere in Massachusetts Friday, long lines and bare shelves greeted shoppers looking for not just TP, but paper towels, sanitizer, and other groceries.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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