The COVID-19 pandemic has caused all kinds of shortages from the critical–PPE–to the inconvenient–toilet paper. But last week a new COVID-19–caused shortage made ripples across America: the nation is short of coins.
Yep, due to the complexities of America’s currency circulation system, everywhere from shops to banks are running low on pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Matter of fact, because of this, some shops are demanding customers pay via card or by exact change only.
The latest to initiate action over America’s coin shortage, however, is none other than the biggest supermarket (by revenue) in the country. As NewsChannel5 Nashville reports, Kroger has announced it will no longer give customers coin change at its stores when paying at the register. If customers need to pay by cash, they’ll only get change back in dollar bills. Any remaining cents due to them will either be donated to the charity Zero Hunger, Zero Waste Foundation, or applied to their Kroger loyalty card, the balance of which they can then use against their next purchase.
Announcing the move, a Kroger spokesperson said, “[a]t Kroger, we are implementing several creative solutions to minimize the impact to our customers…We know this is an inconvenience for our customers and we appreciate their patience. The Treasury Department expects the shortage to diminish as more regions of the country reopen.”
The fact that Kroger is doing this could be a sign that other retailers could soon implement similar measures. Kroger is the second-largest retailer in America, coming in only behind Walmart. It’s also the fifth-largest retailer in the world. So if they are having problems getting their hands on coins, it’s likely other major retailers are, too.