Ex-Walmart CEO says coronavirus may make limiting supplies necessary

Toilet paper supply has been pre-sold six months in advance, Bill Simon said

Universal coronavirus panic has lead the public to buy out retailers of products like toilet paper, food items and sanitary products, leaving stores in shortage.

Continue Reading Below

Former Walmart CEO Bill Simon said that even though it seems like Walmart has been able to restock swept-clean shelves, it may be warranted to limit the number of items a customer can purchase.

AMAZON, WHOLE FOODS STRUGGLE TO DELIVER GROCERIES

“I think it might be necessary for the next week or so [to limit purchases],” Simon told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto. “We've, in effect, pre-sold six months’ worth of toilet paper. And guess what? You don't use it the more you buy it.”

Shelves sit empty of paper products at Walmart, Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Hudson, Mass. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Some of the manufacturers told Simon that plants and distribution are running at “full speed,” even when they’re not supposed to, and supply should circle back to the stores quickly.

Simon suggested buyers should “take responsibility” when purchasing items in bulk that are not a necessity.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

“I think we just need to kind of grow up a little bit and take responsibility,” the former Walmart CEO said. “It's time for us to do that.”

Retailers, including Walmart, have also taken further precautions by limiting store hours. Simon said this is not only to prevent contact with other people but to give the stores some time to regroup and restock.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

“The replenishment system is working,” he said. “And I think they just need time to clean the stores and restock the shelves at the rate that people are buying products."