PHENIX CITY, Ala (WRBL) – The Next time you go in your local Piggly Wiggly grocery store you will see signs that say we will buy your change. First, it was toilet paper, then, hand sanitizer, now, coins like the ones in your pocket are in demand.
“Right now, the banks are only digging out what they have, because they don’t have a whole lot to give out. For example, the other day, I ordered $200 worth of quarters and got 20,” said Store Director Rick Weems.
Lots of people on lock down from COVID-19 means fewer folks are coming in to empty their coin jars. The nationwide change shortage is affecting people, stores, and banks too.
“Well, currently we’ve been informed by banks that the Treasury Department has cut back the amount of change they’re selling to the bank. Therefore, our change supply has dwindled,” said Weems.
Piggly Wiggly is able to shuttle change from store to store. So, they don’t yet have to ask customers to pay with exact change. However, the shortage means they aren’t able to trade coins for paper cash when customers ask for lots of loose change.
“I really just brought in about 21 bucks. I was here the other day, I saw the sign, and I knew I had some at home. So, I decided to bring them on in today,” said long-time customer Stephen Barber.
Piggly Wiggly plans to install more coin machines in stores to help with the shortage.