The coronavirus pandemic has sent shoppers into a frenzy, with panic buying witnessed across the nation’s supermarkets. Initially, items such as hand sanitisers and soap were the first to be sold out, as panic buyers swept supermarket shelves clean. Then came the toilet roll frenzy, with the valuable commodity now in scarce supply. However, with fears of quarantine, isolation and the threat of workplaces turning employees away, frenzied shoppers have begun to stockpile staple food goods. Despite government pronouncements encouraging shoppers not to panic buy, shelves across supermarkets have been cleared, with photos emerging of aisles in complete disarray. As a result of coronavirus stockpiling, supermarket chains have restricted sales of essential food and household items. Items subject to the restrictions include anti-bacterial gels, wipes, sprays, dry pasta, UHT milk and some tinned vegetables. Shoppers’ favourites, amid the coronavirus stockpiling chaos, have also included toilet roll, kitchen roll, long life milk, pasta, beans, soap, painkillers, deodorant, cleaning supplies, bottled water and cereals. Alongside Tesco, other supermarket and high street chains have subjected products to purchase restrictions, including Boots, Waitrose and Aldi.
No Need for Alarm
Despite the panic buying, experts have advised that the paucity of stocks will only be short term. Chair in logistics and transport at Cardiff Business School told the BBC, “Whilst there might be empty shelves at the moment in the shops, over the next week or so, we will see them replenish. The supply chain will start to deliver stuff through to the stores and hopefully this shortage – which is fairly short-term – will clear and everything will be back to normal again.” The supermarket industry has likened the panic buying spike in trading to the Christmas period, detailing that trading has reached 70% of the levels witnessed during the lead-up to the festive season.