When the pandemic began last spring, people invaded stores buying all the toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and canned goods they could find. For months it was nearly impossible to find items like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and paper towels. Manufacturers have finally caught up with the demand, and it’s now much easier to find basic cleaning supplies at your local grocery store. But as the country is faced with the very distinct possibility of a second wave, retailers worry there may be another run on the stores.
A new survey shows a large number of Americans are considering replenishing their spring stockpiles for winter, and many are considering creating a permanent stockpile. The survey found 57 percent of shoppers want to restock depleted stockpiles and 27 percent are planning to buy more because they fear shortages this winter. The products at the top of shopper’s lists are toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Paper towels and sanitizing wipes were also high on the stockpile list last spring. Back in August, Clorox CEO Benno Dorer said the company wouldn’t be able to produce enough wipes until early 2021. Another key item on the stockpilers list is canned goods. Shelf-stable products that can last longer than frozen or fresh food are a safer bet in the event there are shortages this winter. Still, 45 percent of people surveyed said they plan on buying items they didn’t the first time around, including frozen dinners, pasta, snacks, and other types of cleaning products.
Even if another wave of hoarding starts, stores could be better prepared for the onslaught of shoppers this time around. Grocery and big box stores have hired more people and increased the capacity of their delivery and personal shopping options. Supply chains are also more prepared for the demand than they were last time, and stores will likely place limits on how many items each household can purchase.