After two days of trying and failing to find a store with adequate stocks of toilet paper, Peter Latzel got up early Sunday morning, March 8th, to be first in line at the Langley Costco store.
“It’s crazy,” Latzel told the Langley Advance Times.
Latzel, who lives near the Surrey-Langley border, said he wasn’t among those who were hoarding out of concern about the COVID-19 virus, but he was being forced to queue up to make sure he had enough for his wife and two kids.
“I’m just trying to keep up with my family’s needs,” Latzel said.
A Langley woman, who did not want to be named, said she decided to arrive early at Costco for the same reason
“I’m going to buy two packages of toilet paper and some wipes,” she explained.
“They were out everywhere else [I looked].”
Sunday morning, a Costco worker was telling customers that the store went through its entire stock in a matter of minutes on Saturday, but more had been brought in.
“[But] if you’re not here by 9 a.m. you may not get any,” he warned.
One witness reported the in-store line-up for toilet paper exceeded 30 people in Costco at one point on Saturday.
Down the road from the Costco store, the Save-On-Foods store had managed to re-stock its shelves after they were emptied Saturday.
One staffer noticed the biggest bulk buying appeared to be by younger people, “anyone born after 1990,” while older patrons were buying less.
At the Langley Walmart store, signs announcing a two-package-per-person policy had been posted on nearly-depleted toilet paper racks.
“Thank you for being understanding and allowing all customers to have access to paper,” the notice said.
In Langley City, the Independent Grocer was almost sold out of toilet paper by mid-day Saturday, with the exception of a handful of small packages, and the pharmacy next door was completely out of disinfecting wipes.