Guest Column | July 15, 2020

Coin Shortage Pinches Convenience, Grocery And Retail Merchants

By Bob Daugs, Director of Product Management, APG Cash Drawer

US Coin Shortage Penny

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a number of temporary shortages, including toilet paper, disinfectants and even meat. But one shortage most people likely haven’t noticed is affecting retail segments like convenience stores, gas stations and dollar stores. The U.S. coin supply is dwindling.

While some of us have been collecting piles of coins in forgotten drawers or car cup holders, retailers are having to get creative in making change for customers. They cannot get enough coins from their banks, as reported in this USA Today story. International grocer, Kroger has also recently announced a halted use of coins caused by the coin shortage.

One gas station owner in Michigan, Ken Lucia, told the paper he has been rounding up or down when making change to save up on coins. “If the sale is $4.79, he will ask customers if they mind losing a penny and round up, giving them 20 cents. Or, he will round down to $4.75 and give them a quarter,” the paper explains.

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