As COVID-19 curfews and shutdowns resume from California to New York, American shoppers are at it again. Their new scramble for essentials has left almost all toilet paper aisles empty once again. As the saying goes, it is survival for the fittest. With the fittest being the ones who have already stockpiled essentials to brave the second wave of the pandemic.


As of Friday, restrictions were imposed on 22 states in a bid to decrease the spread of the virus. These restrictions gave rise to this recent panic buying among Americans who didn’t want to get stuck without essentials. Large supermarket chains including Target and Kroger have put in place purchase limits to ensure all customers are served.


On Friday, Walmart announced that it had experienced “lower than normal availability” for toilet paper and cleaning supplies. This came as a result of the raging infections that have increased across the country. According to Whitley Hatcher, a collection specialist in Arizona, Walmarts are out of Lysol wipes and toilet paper.


At a Costco in Vancouver, Washington, a similar shortage is experienced. The retail store is out of stock in products including paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning wipes, gloves, and Spam canned meat. The store has currently included a ban on indoor dining in its set of new rules. Costco stores in LA and Fresno experienced the same shortage.

Walgreens and Dollar Tree

Unlike Walmarts, Walgreens and Dollar Tree stores still have essentials in stock. Hatcher elaborates that this is the case in bigger stores because when shoppers see the empty shelves, they are triggered to indulge in panic buying. This could also be the case because bigger retail stores tend to have more shoppers than smaller ones.

Procter & Gamble

Rated as USA’s No.1 toilet paper seller, these Charmin makers claim to work 24/7 to meet the high demand of toilet paper.

As for retailers, they have been forced to make major changes to their supply chains to meet the ever changing demand curve. These changes are also deemed costly to these retailers. For instance, Walmart’s Sam Club had to respond to a complaint on tweeter regarding the unavailability of toilet paper and paper towels. In his response, Sam promised that the store was working to replenish the items as soon as possible.

On that note, shoppers could visit other retail stores that still have essential items in stock for future use.


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