As online grocers report a spike in orders and shoppers post pictures of newly emptied shelves, ParcelHero says we must all learn the lessons of March and avoid panic-buying ahead of a second coronavirus wave. It also warns pandemic profiteers, who buy cleaning products now to sell at a higher price during lockdown, won’t get away with it a second time.
There’s plenty of loo-roll and baked beans for everyone, says the home delivery expert ParcelHero. It says shoppers must resist the impulse to panic-buy online and in-store in anticipation of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned on Monday there will be a surge in Covid-19 cases unless new measures are introduced. He said, ‘That requires speed, it requires action…’
While some shoppers have taken this as their cue to prepare for a second lockdown, there is no need to stockpile, says ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT:
Unnecessary pressure is once again building on retailers, both online and in supermarkets. Online grocers are already urging online customers to shop in store and not grab all available home delivery slots, so they can continue to serve people who are elderly or shielding. We do not want a return to the dark days of March when people spent days online just trying to secure a food delivery.
The same is true in stores. Some shoppers were posting pictures of emptied shelves yesterday while Morrisons reintroduced door guards. The concern is that people abandon common sense and indulge in frenzied stockpiling, as was the case in March. There never was an interruption to the supply of staples such as toilet rolls, pasta and baked beans in the country. People began buying huge amounts of these items, in anticipation of a shortage. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy for Britain’s consumers.
However, signs are that both the Government and canny shoppers have learned from the first wave. It looks as though the Government will introduce a phased response to a potential second wave, with local lockdowns and staggered measures to restrict social gatherings such as a 10pm pub closing time. Even if there is a short, sharp nationwide lockdown during the October half term, as some experts are speculating, goods will still get through to stores. Retailers now have increased capacity and more robust supply chains. Tesco has increased its online capacity from around 600,000 deliveries a week at the beginning of the crises to 1.5 million weekly slots today, for example.
Due to a backlash from shoppers, online platforms such as Amazon and eBay are now on the lookout for traders engaged in the unprincipled act of bulk-buying items, such as cleaning and toiletry products, and then selling them at higher prices during a lockdown.
Britain’s consumers won’t tolerate that sort of unscrupulous trading a second time. Pandemic profiteers are likely to be named and shamed if they try the same trick again.
The front door continues to be the front-line in the war against Covid, as home deliveries remain the best defence for the elderly and frail. For more information on how retailers can reduce the impact of a second wave by comparing carriers’ prices and services, see ParcelHero’s updated guide at https://www.parcelhero.com/en-gb/uk-courier-services