Local shoppers say grocery shopping is less crowded as stay-at-home order goes into effect

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local grocery store employees have said their stores were flooded earlier this week with shoppers leaving many shelves empty.

Many shoppers said they expected Saturday to be the worst shopping day due to Illinois’ stay-at-home order going into effect at 5 p.m.

However, several shoppers and store employees said, on the contrary, Saturday was the most calm day they’ve seen this week.

Billy Young, a local shopper, said she went to two different markets Saturday afternoon and had no problem finding what she was looking for.

“I’ve had a pretty good experience today,” Young said.

Another local shopper, Teresa Biddison, said she had a similar experience.

“It’s pretty busy in there,” Biddison said. ” It’s pretty crowded but they’re pretty well stocked today.”

Shoppers said the sight of stocked shelves was a bigger surprise for them than the lack of crowds. Young said she’s noticed certain stores implementing quantity restrictions to ensure there are enough products for everyone.

“Many of them [grocery stores], like Sam’s [Club], you’re limited to one item so that’s stopping this whole hoarding thing,” Young said.

However, other shoppers noted there’s still a lack of toilet paper available. Nevertheless, many seemed to understand the necessity for the state’s stay-at-home order.

“I think that everyone should follow it,” Biddison said. “That’s the only way to get through this.”

“I don’t notice much of a difference,” Young said. “It sounds to me like they’re just trying to keep us from congregating in large crowds or semi-large crowds.”

Ryan Cosner, who’s a senior at Bradley University, said he also understood why the order was put in place but he was disappointed to know both his job and graduation were affected.

“My job is not an essential place so it’s going to be closing down,” Cosner said.

However, he said since there’s nothing to be done about the world’s current situation, it’s best to try to make the best out of it.

“For me, I’m going home and I’m going to watch movies,” Cosner said. “I’m just going to distract myself as much as I can. I think everyone else should do that same because what else can you do.”

During the stay-at-home order, grocery stores and pharmacies as seen as essential businesses and Illinoians are allowed to leave their homes to visit those facilities.

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