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Costco rushes to fill shelves to meet coronavirus-driven buying

US wholesaler says Shanghai store among top performers before virus hit

Customers walk past half-empty shelves at a Costco store in Sunnyvale, California. (Photo by Yifan Yu)

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Costco is struggling to keep up with the surge in coronavirus-driven panic buying as same-store sales jumped 12.1% in February, the U.S. wholesaler said in an earnings call on Thursday.

Costco, which operates one of the biggest wholesale chains in the U.S., acknowledged that its supply chain has been compromised by the outbreak, at the same time that shoppers are keen to stock up on everything from toilet paper to food.

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