KEY POINTS

  • Kroger said the recent coin shortage means its over 3,000 locations across 35 states will no longer be able to provide coin change for the foreseeable future
  • Kroger cited "disruptions" in the U.S. Federal Reserve and reduced production at the U.S. Mint from the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest contributors
  • Other retailers no longer offering coin change include Wawa, CVS, and Dollar Tree

Amid a shortage of coins in circulation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, supermarket chain Kroger said it would stop giving customers coin change for the foreseeable future. Kroger outlined its current situation while responding to a customer complaint on Twitter, pointing to “disruptions” at the U.S. Federal Reserve as the reason for the policy change.

Kroger operates over 3,000 locations across 35 states, all of which are putting up signage to reflect the change in coin policy.

“The Federal Reserve is experiencing a significant coin shortage that is impacting our store operations and ability to provide change. As a result, the company is implementing a new process for providing change to customers.  In all staffed lanes, coin change owed to the customer can be applied to your loyalty card and can be used on your next in-store, Pick-Up or Delivery purchase. Alternately, we can round your transaction up to the nearest dollar and donate it to your local Foodbank," Kroger said in a statement.

The Federal Reserve, as with many other employers, was forced to significantly downsize its workforce as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. In turn, this force the U.S. Mint to slow down production due to precautionary measures instituted.

Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell spoke about the limited coin circulation during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on June 17.

“The places where you go to give your coins, and get credit at the store and get cash — you know, folding money — those have not been working,” Powell said. “Stores have been closed. So the whole system has kind of, had come to a stop. We’re well aware of this. … As the economy reopens, we’re seeing coins begin to move around again.”

Convenience chain Wawa, CVS Pharmacies, and Dollar Tree stores are among other retailers and grocers being forced to cope with the current coin shortage.

Kroger Kroger will send out its self-driving grocery delivery service this week in Arizona. A sign is pictured on July 15, 2008 in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images