Toilet Paper Placing Retailers in Perplexing Predicament

With the recent surge in positive Covid-19 cases and the regression back into the Purple Tier in some counties, consumers began flocking to stores to purchase bulk supplies. In these uncertain times, when things can change with the snap of a finger, consumers have again taken to stores to buy everything they need as they guard themselves against possible prolonged lockdowns.

Panic buying is relatively new in our society. In the past, consumers limited their impulsive spending to Black Friday sales and the hottest toys for Christmas. But not anymore and not during a pandemic. However, the mob mentality for buying in case of emergency extras are, yes, water and food, but the strangeness is in the overbuying of toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

People have started to excessively stock up and buy as much toilet paper and sanitizing equipment after the coronavirus began to spike again. For whatever reason, the election, for example, was seen as a reason to stock up on toilet paper because President elects Joe Biden’s plan against Covid-19. People are currently clearing out the shelves for toilet paper, sanitizing wipes, and other sanitizers completely. However, many representatives and chains have prepared for the second wave of hoarding and have remained well-stocked. After the first wave back in March, retailers are better prepared today, but it still is a strange phenomenon.

Governments worldwide have been advising people to stock up on necessities since the Covid-19 outbreak began to spread more widely. But why has toilet paper, in particular, been the item of choice? It’s not as though running out of the thing is a matter of life and death, and indeed there are substitutes for toilet paper if one runs out. The United States has always been one of the trends, so it can be explained why we buy too much of one thing.

In an article titled, “The psychology behind the panic buying of toilet paper during the Covid 19 outbreak,” by Anna Maria Romero, Associate Professor Nitika Garg from the University of New South Wales told the BBC, “They think if this person is buying it, if my neighbor is buying there’s got to be a reason and I need to get in too.”

Although it seems strange, the overstocking of toilet paper and cleaning supplies is one way to feel in control during this pandemic. The Prowl is in no way suggesting not to do this. We just took a look at the psychology behind this phenomenon and wanted to shed some light. Control is something we don’t really have control of right now. So, if you are taking care of your family’s needs, we support your position.