Kroger Stops Giving Customers Change Amid Nationwide Coin Shortage

Business U.S.

The Kroger Company has stopped giving coins back to cash-paying customers because of a nationwide coin shortage. The remainders can be donated to charity or are being transferred to loyalty cards, the company says.

“At Kroger, we are implementing several creative solutions to minimize the impact to our customers…We know this is an inconvenience for our customers, and we appreciate their patience. The Treasury Department expects the shortage to diminish as more regions of the country reopen,” Kroger officials say.

The country is facing a coin shortage because of the coronavirus outbreak said Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, last month.

“With the partial closure of the economy, the flow of funds through the economy has stopped,” Powell said during a virtual Congressional hearing in June. “We are working with the Mint and the Reserve Banks and as the economy re-opens we are starting to see money move around again.”

The U.S. Mint subsequently said that it will be increasing production of quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies.

“The COVID‐19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin,” a statement by Reserve Banks and The Federal Reserve read last month.

“In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees.”

It’s unclear what those protections were and why they were necessary to put in place to keep employees protected. Or why they solely apply to coins and not cash as well, for example.

Also, coin production has actually decreased during the last couple of years, even before the Covid19 pandemic.

Last month supermarket chain Meijer Inc, also told customers at 250 stores that “self-checkout registers” will only accept “electronic payment only” due to a “national coin shortage.”

Shortages have also been reported at chains such as Dollar Tree and Wawa.

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