Kroger and other grocery stores stop giving change to customers due to coin shortage across the United States

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  • Grocery chains are taking steps to minimize or eliminate the distribution of parts in the midst of a national parts shortage.
  • Some methods include round-ups for change and charitable giving.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the circulation of parts and has had an impact on small parts-dependent businesses, such as laundromats.
  • Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories

Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, and its Mariano stores are no longer handing customers such changeable coins as the United States struggling with a widespread coin shortage.

Kroger is temporarily asking customers in nearly 3,000 stores in 35 states to pay with exact change. In addition, customers can choose to load their money onto a customer loyalty card which can be automatically applied to their next purchase.

“The Federal Reserve is experiencing a significant shortage of coins which affects our store operations and our ability to effect change,” Kroger tweeted. “As a result, the company is implementing a new process to bring change to customers. ”

Other retailers are following similar paths. Retail giant Walmart, for example, still allows its customers to pay in cash, but asks them to pay with credit and debit cards whenever possible. Its self-service payment registers will only allow customers to pay with a certain type of card.

“Like most retailers, we are experiencing the effects of the national parts shortage,” said Walmart spokesperson Avani Dudhia. “We ask customers to pay by card or use the correct currency if possible if they need to pay in cash. ”

Some stores take the coin shortage even further by using the revenue and spare change and donating the proceedings to charities.

Wawa, an American chain of convenience stores and gas stations with nearly 50 stores across Delaware, asks customers to round cash purchases to the nearest dollar with the intention of donating change to the Foundation Wawa, which supports the USO and other local charities, according to the Delaware News Journal.

HEB, a San Antonio, Texas-based supermarket chain with more than 340 stores in the state and northeastern Mexico, has launched a Change for Clarity campaign in which customers can donate their coins to the fund to benefit local nonprofits as well as Texas food banks, ABC 7 reported.

Likewise, small coin-dependent businesses, such as laundromats, are also trying to improve the circulation of coins by resorting in some cases to requiring customers to bring their own change or exchange coins from their premises. piggy bank for cash, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the circulation of coins, according to the Federal Reserve. Lately, the reduction in the circulation rate has led to insufficient quantities of coins.

“Although there are enough coins in the economy, the slowing pace of circulation has meant that sufficient quantities of coins are not readily available where needed,” the Federal Reserve said in a statement. . “With the closure of establishments like retail stores, bank branches, transit authorities and laundromats, the typical places where coins enter our society have slowed down or even stopped the normal circulation of coins. of money. ”

Matt Finn, chief economist at the Old National Bank, told the 14News news network that there are about $ 48 billion in coins in the United States. However, that might be hard to find as the U.S. Mint has slowed the production of coins and fewer people use them in places like car washes and vending machines.

“What economists hope is that when the country reopens and businesses return to normal, the problem should be resolved,” said Finn. “But until that happens, it could get worse. “

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