LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The next time you’re checking out at the counter of a grocery store things could be different, amid the coin shortage happening across the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
Just last month the shortage was noted by the federal reserve but now big box stores are making changes to deal with it.
The refreshing sound of collecting change may no longer be a thing because retailers can’t spare change.
Kroger, one of the largest supermarket chains in the United States announced if you aren’t paying in exact change, you’re not going to get any change back.
“I was shocked when I heard about it,” Kroger shopper Meaghan Fernean said.
They aren’t the only ones — Walmart, Walgreens and even some banks said they’re in the same position.
“Just considering I have so much change at home that is sitting in my couch, or you know in the huge thing on my floor that we have that saves all of it,” Fernean said.
Despite the few who may have a place around the house that collects changes.
On Tuesday, we asked shoppers how they feel about it.
“I can do that, it’s not a problem,” shopper Carlos Cervantes said.
“It doesn’t really affect me that much,” Fernean said. “I’m a habitual card user, it probably comes a fault. While I do have cash on me, I just never tend to use it.”
Signs are posted letting customers know.
The options are Kroger are:
-Pay with exact change
-Use a debit or credit card
-Donate what they owe in coins to its Zero Hunger Foundation
-Or they can have their change loaded onto a customer loyalty card
“If they have charities and things to round up, I will always use it,” Fernean said.
Meanwhile, a small shop called Nana’s Organix along Main Street in North Little Rock said they’re in good standing.
“We actually haven’t had a big deal with corn shortage yet, and that’s because we recycle our change,” Owner of Nana’s Organix Grocery store, Amanda Wilson said. “We have a tip jar, people leave change and we put it right back into the register.”
Wilson said she’s never heard of a coin shortage until now. She said it’s something no one knows how to deal with.
“An interesting thing that did happen was, our bank emailed us and asked all the local businesses to turn in any coins they had. I’ve never had that happen before,” Wilson said.
We did reach out to local banks but we didn’t hear back. It’s not clear how long this shortage will last.