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Lines like this may become more common again at grocery stores with the coming of winter and the resurgence of COVID-19, according to Inmar Intelligence.

U.S. consumers preparing for second wave of stockpiling

57% of those surveyed considering restocks of supplies amassed at start of pandemic, Inmar finds

With the coming of winter, more than half of U.S. consumers are mulling resupplies of groceries and essential items stockpiled at the outbreak of COVID-19, new research from Inmar Intelligence finds.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar said Tuesday that 57% of shoppers surveyed are now deciding whether to replenish their stock of goods gathered at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, another 54% of respondents said they aim to be prepared by always having a stockpile of key items going forward, in case of safety issues and supply outages at stores.

Consumers cited the upcoming winter season and the resurgence of COVID-19 cases around the country as the chief reasons for their planned stock-ups, according to Inmar.

Of those polled, 27% said they’re considering a winter stockpile because certain products might not be in stock when needed. The same percentage expressed concern that another wave of the pandemic would make in-store shopping less safe.

Sixty-four percent of consumers reported creating a stockpile of products when COVID-19 hit, and 57% said they still have products stockpiled because of the pandemic.

Despite safety and out-of-stock concerns, shoppers are still relying on brick-and-mortar retailers for purchases of everyday items, Inmar noted. Of consumers surveyed, 55% said they aim to buy goods for their stockpile in-store.

“The survey results indicate that a majority of shoppers are likely to make their way into grocery stores to stockpile goods, in light of a potential second wave of COVID-19,” stated David Mounts, chairman and CEO at Inmar, a provider of data-driven technology services for retailers and manufacturers, among others. “Today’s shoppers still have concerns around safety, availability and convenience and will continue to look to their local retailers to deliver consistency and seamless customer service across all touch points.”

As in the first COVID-triggered run on grocery stores in March, cleaning and hygiene products are atop consumers’ lists of items to stockpile. The top two products cited by survey respondents were toilet paper (67%) and hand sanitizer (57%), which Inmar said reflects shoppers’ experience of these items often being unavailable early on in the pandemic.

Other products that consumers have stockpiled or plan to stockpile include paper towels (cited by 52% of those polled), disinfecting wipes (53%) and canned goods (54%). And 45% of respondents said the second round of stockpiling will include items not in the first round, such as frozen dinners, pasta, snacks and cleaning products.

Shoppers, too, will be looking to stretch their dollars as they stock up, Mounts added. “As we enter one of the busiest shopping seasons, it will be important for retailers not only to prepare for this new surge in demand but also deliver value to customers during this time of crisis in order to maintain heightened trust and customer loyalty.” 

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TAGS: Coronavirus
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