Whilst the media are quick to enforce panic buying headlines, those in the industry know that regular shelf profiles were merely caught off guard by the surge in sales of Covid-19 staple products. Hand gel, medicines, tinned foods and surprisingly, toilet roll sales peaked leading to gaps on shelves which have been widely publicised.
The UK supply chain is expected to take a few days to be operational at these increased rates but should make a full and functional return to service.
The Chair in Logistics & Transport at Cardiff Business School, Dr Andrew Potter 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…whilst retailers may have been caught out by the beginning of this shopping surge, they have very sophisticated systems to check changes in demand.”
Sources: BBC online, LinkedIn: March 2020