Kroger no longer giving out coins as change

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 7:06 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - If you're a Kroger shopper, don't expect to get coins back the next time you pay with cash.

The grocery store announcing it will no longer return coin change to customers because of the national coin shortage.

Instead, the remainder of cash transactions will be applied to loyalty cards and automatically go toward the next purchase. Customers are also encouraged to “round up” to support the company’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation.

The Federal Reserve blames the coin shortage on the COVID-19 pandemic, saying there’s been a “dramatic deceleration of coin circulation through the supply chain.”

The slowed pace of circulation has meant hat supplies of coins are not readily available where needed, the Fed says. It blames the problem on restricted operations by establishments where coins typically enter circulation, including retail shops, bank branches, transit authorities and laundromats.

Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell explained the issue June 17 in a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, according to the Washington Post. The paper quotes him as saying:

“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. 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.”

At the same time, the Federal Reserve said its measures intended to replenish coin inventory won’t be enough to solve the shortage in the near-term.

The upshot? If you go to Kroger, for now you can forget your change purse.

Gray News contributed to this report.