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Kroger customers can still get coins at self-checkout, but situation is fluid

Kroger confirmed that customers paying cash will no longer be given change at checkout, but a Kroger spokesperson for the company's Nashville division said that customers could still get coins at self-checkout; however, that could change.
Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 4:16 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 11:42 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray) - Friday, a spokesperson for the grocery giant Kroger confirmed that its stores will no longer return coin change to customers. Instead, customers have three options at non-self checkouts; what’s leftover from cash transactions could be applied to customers’ loyalty cards and will automatically be used on their next purchase, round up the total to support two food-security groups or checkout with another form of payment.

However, that rule might be a bit flexible depending on where and how you checkout. According to Kroger spokesperson Melissa Eads, who covers Kroger’s Nashville division, customers can still get some coins at self-checkout. However, she said that option is fluid and could change.

The reason for the change in policy, according to Kroger Corporate Affairs Manager Erin Rolfes, has to do with the Federal Reserve’s current coin shortage. The U.S. Mint said in June that one factor for the shortage is due to production. It’s producing fewer coins to protect employees from COVID-19.

“When you implement social distancing and stuff, you do have a little bit lower production capability. So the amount of coins the U.S. Mint has been able to supply to the Federal Reserve this year is lower than normal,” said Pat Heller with Liberty Coin.

Kroger isn’t the only company in the area to tackle the coin shortage. Buddy’s BBQ said cash payments will only be accepted with exact change, and it’s also ‘buying’ coins from customers--exchanging bills for coins. Gas stations have also posted signs asking people to checkout using exact cash.

The Federal Reserve says this is a temporary situation and more coins should become available as the economy reopens.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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