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Coin shortage forces some shoppers to pay electronically

DETROIT – “Just got some stuff for the 4th of July. Some burgers and some buns, turkey burgers, bratwurst, hotdogs,” said Geoff Aaron.

Geoff Aaron is like many customers at Meijer Grocery stores across Metro Detroit. He’s shopping for his small, 4th of July weekend gathering, “Really, really small, social distancing.”

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And just like the rest of the country, coronavirus is forcing everyone to step out of their normal routines, including grocery stores like Meijer, “It’s still some people who are walking around without masks and that kind of puzzles me. It’s like do you want to catch Corona?” said Aaron.

Several stores have signs posted on their doors, for everyone to see. The signs say ‘Due to the national coin shortage, self-checkout registers are electronic payment only. No cash back or bottle slip/Coinstar slip redemption for cash.’

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Many customers were shocked by the news, “Self checkouts, no coins, got to use card only. Debit, credit, I don’t even think they’re taking a check. Really, it doesn’t bother me, I mostly use my card anyways. I don’t, carrying cash now a days, especially with the, (you know) I mostly use my card anyways,” said Aaron.

CEO and Chairman Kenneth Kelly with First Independence Bank, “Well its about a supply and demand, right, so what you have is the reality of individuals are probably not using the same currency, they have used before,” said Kelly.

A spokesperson for Meijer released this statement; As a result of the national coin shortage caused by the pandemic, Meijer is temporarily converting the self-scan checkout lanes at most of our supercenters to credit/debit use only (they’ll also still accept Meijer gift cards and SNAP/EBT cards). Our staffed checkout lanes will continue to accept cash payments. While we understand this effort may be frustrating to some customers, it’s necessary to manage the impact of the coin shortage on our stores. We appreciate our customers’ understanding and patience.

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