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Online grocery shopping increases amid COVID-19 pandemic


Stay-at-home orders meant to slow down COVID-19 locally and statewide have sent many Mid-Missouri shoppers online for their groceries.

But the extra load put on online shopping systems meant to serve far fewer customers is causing delays even with grocery pick-up.

Missouri Grocers Association lobbyist Dave Overfelt said he's seen pick-up dates be pushed back five to six days because of the increased traffic these companies are seeing online.

Another issue shoppers might run into is their products not being available, even if they're in stock in the store.

An ABC 17 News reporter found that several essentials, including toilet paper, are only available for in-store purchase.

Some shoppers remain reluctant to go to stores because of the risk that they could be exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. However, several chains are offering morning hours exclusively for high-risk shoppers, such as the elderly and those with underlying health problems.

Stores have also started to limit the number of shoppers that can be inside at any time. A statewide stay-at-home order that went into effect Monday requires essential retail establishments to limit their customer numbers. Stores have also created other social distancing measures such as directional markers and plexiglass shields at registers.

State health officials reported more than 3,300 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Overfelt encouraged those who are shopping online to download apps for their favorite stores. Those apps have deals and discounts not always available in the stores.

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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.


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