GRAPEVINE, Texas — "Don't worry. We have product. We have product on the shelves now. We have product coming," said Christy Lara. She's the director of public relations for Tom Thumb and Albertsons.
Trucks of various items unloaded throughout the day at a Tom Thumb in Grapevine.
Lara said items like sanitizers, cleansers, paper and water have been flying off the shelves since the COVID-19 outbreak. It's been so busy at their stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that the company is hiring 4,000 people immediately throughout 98 stores. The jobs include in-store employees and delivery drivers.
Some customers, like Sandra Kinnebrew, were surprised to find a supply of toilet paper and water. "I went to three stores this morning and nobody had anything, but here, yes."
Kinnebrew is a flight attendant who has seen the impact of the novel coronavirus. She is taking it seriously, even shopping with gloves on. But she also says it's unnecessary to overstock on items like toilet paper and water.
"I'm just getting a few things," she said, "Not hoarding [...] Just do your part in this and not panic and go out and clear the shelves."
Lara said the distribution center is sending trucks to all the DFW area Tom Thumb and Albertsons stores every day in order to replenish products.
"We are doing everything that we can to be prepared and we have been working on it for quite a few weeks," Lara said.
To apply for one of the 4,000 positions, visit your local Tom Thumb or Albertsons and ask to speak with a store director, or apply online.