When the COVID-19 pandemic first forced Americans to stay home, shopping was all about panic. Consumers who were used to purchasing for severe weather events such as snowstorms and hurricanes worried that supply chains would shut down, so they stockpiled essential goods such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
However, as the quarantine dragged on, it appeared that supply chains were not as impacted as had been previously anticipated. That’s when shopping habits began to shift from hoarding essentials to buying things to make life more, well, livable.
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, retail, at The NPD Group, a global market research firm, said that by mid-April, hoarding categories had, for the most part, slowed down to single-digit increases. “Freezers are now full and pantries are now full, and [consumers] have bought more than they needed in a year,” he said.
According to NPD Group Point-of-Sale Retail Tracking Service NPD Universe, office supplies, including janitorial/breakroom products such as paper towels, hand sanitizers and wipes, etc., were up only +1% as of April 4, 2020, compared to the prior week… Retail Dive