Grocers Stockpile Essential Goods in Anticipation of a Second Covid-19 Wave

For grocery retailers, the days of lean inventory are over.

Grocers won’t be caught with their TP depleted if and when a second Covid-19 wave arrives. 

As coronavirus cases tick upward again, the WSJ reports that several grocery chains are stockpiling products that sold out back in early spring. 

  • Associated Food Stores built “pandemic pallets” of hard-to-find cleaning supplies in its warehouses.
  • Giant and Food Lion owner Ahold Delhaize is stocking up to 15% more inventory in its warehouses than it did before the pandemic.
  • Walmart is correcting its grocery inventory algorithms to build an essentials stockpile.

An (agri)cultural reset

Grocery retailers used to keep inventory lean, but 2020 taught them to over prepare. And more scarcity could be on the way: The anticipated second wave (and subsequent quarantines) will coincide with the holidays, when the annual turkey rush already overwhelms grocers.

  • Southeastern Grocers and United Natural Foods began stocking holiday menu items over the summer, just in case.

Zoom out: Inventory planning can’t replenish everything. Clorox expects its disinfectant wipe shortage to stretch into 2021.

Via Morning Brew

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