Those who can still afford to get supplies at the stores are emptying shelves at a fast speed, fearing shortages and the coming strict lockdowns. Meanwhile, those who were left without any other choice are being jammed in endless food bank lines to receive enough for maybe a week or two. In this video, we adress how panic shopping behavior is about to prompt another wave of shortages very soon.
Back in March, consumers rushed to the stores to stock up on cleaning products, non-perishables, and canned goods. However, the least fortunate ones that had to rely on external assistance to put food on their tables, often waiting in colossal lines at food banks, which, back then, were already stressed by the unprecedented rise in demand.
Now the new wave of confirmed has once again become the primary focus of the mainstream media, leading the public to react in fear and making all of this happen again. Additionally, the prospects of a new round of strict lockdowns is making Americans worry that they might soon found themselves stuck at home without enough toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
In many cities, these products are nowhere to be found, with companies outlining that supply chain disruptions are already occurring and the tendency is that the situation will only get more aggravating from now on.
Furthermore, Biden has repeatedly warned that “we’re still facing a very dark winter”, while his health advisor disclosed to have plans to shut down the entire economy for weeks to bend the curb. Although winter doesn’t start until a month from now, consumers hoarding behavior has already begun to be registered across the country.
In California, shoppers are racing to local markets to stockpile essentials one more time. The so-called “panic shopping” has already drained some stores of their toilet paper and cleaning supplies. It’s understandable why Californians are so panicked to stockpile enough cleaning supplies. After the burst of the crisis, it became impossible to find any store that had even one bottle of hand sanitizer left on the shelves. Gloves, Clorox wipes, paper towels, cleaning supplies, hand soap, frozen food, and food staples such as rice or any type of meat were completely sold out all across the state.
In some cities, a widespread shortage of toilet paper lingered for months, and the product became a coveted item and a scarce commodity. “Some became so desperate that they resorted to theft”, officers informed, describing that they busted three individuals in a “heinous toilet paper caper. As preposterous as it sounds, similar occurrences were recorded across the country and are expected to continue since many can’t find the means to buy such products, and attack other’s stockpiles to get what they need.
Giants such as Walmart stated months ago to be stockpiling in advance to prevent shortages, but on Tuesday revealed that supply chains haven’t kept up with the skyrocketing demand, and several goods have been harder to stock especially in locations with acute spikes in new virus cases. According to market research firm IRI’s data, approximately, 21% of paper products and 16% of household cleaning products were out of stock during the week ending November 15. Before the crisis, less than 5% of such products were out of stock.
The panic-buying issue has become so extreme that it is being studied as a social phenomenon triggered as a consequence of the sanitary crisis. Right after the outbreak struck, supply chains were promptly disrupted as retailers struggled to adjust to meet the sudden demand. A recent study pointed out that this response is largely triggered by fear.
Having to cope with mounting uncertainty, those shopping behaviors provide a way to deal with fear and to “relieve anxiety and regain control over the crisis”. In some states, the threat of sending law enforcement to private homes to enforce government mandates, as well as mandatory and arbitrary orders about who people can, and cannot, have over for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, have made people rush into the stores, leaving shelves bare.
Despite several grocery chains had created “pandemic pallets” not to get caught flat-footed again when hoarding tendencies remerged amid another round of lockdowns, many of those never have completely recovered from round one. For that reason, it’s inevitable not to anticipate further shortages and possibly another break on supply chains by the end of the year.
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