Local businesses making changes to avoid coin shortage


MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Some local stores are doing what they can to avoid coin shortages. The owners of J5 Coin Laundry in Maryland Heights say for the first time in their 16 years of business, they have struggled to maintain enough quarters for customers.

“Banks have been calling us, trying to get quarters from us,” said owner Debbie Johnson.

She said her bank would only sell her one roll of quarters because of a concern over a coin shortage.

Schnucks stores tell FOX 2 they are taking several steps to make sure they have enough coins. The stores have temporarily halted the selling of rolls of coins to the public and other businesses.

The grocer is also in the middle of its Folds of Honor Round up at the Register encouraging customers to consider rounding up their purchase for charity.

Schnucks stores also have Coinmax machines can use coins from those machines.

Concerns over a coin shortage began after the US Mint reduced coin production to help keep workers safe. COVID-19 concerns and shutdowns also led to fewer customers paying cash. Some experts say it’s more about coins being the wrong place than a coin shortage.

Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity said many coins are either at home with consumers or in businesses that have been shuttered and are waiting to re-open.

The Federal Reserve recently launched a task force of government agencies and business to address the problem. Coinstar is one of those businesses.

“If we can turn in those coins to the coin redeeming machines, to the banks, we can make this problem significantly go away,” Gaherity said.

Johnson said one last resort for her business would be to change her washers and dryers to accept credit cards. She has no plans to do that because the added cost would be passed on to her customers.

“We’ve been family-run for 16 years,” said Johnson. “We have a lot of regular customs and we really like keeping those costs low.”

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