Shoppers Resume Stockpiling As UK Govt Extends Lockdown, Study Finds

By Dayeeta Das
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Shoppers Resume Stockpiling As UK Govt Extends Lockdown, Study Finds

Shoppers in the UK resorted to a 'second wave' of stockpiling in the week ended 19 April after the government extended lockdown measures, according to the latest data from Edge by Ascential.

The period witnessed shelf-stable items such as tinned pasta, rice, and dry pasta going out of stock at many UK supermarkets.

The top three out-of-stock products were toilet paper, kitchen roll, and facial tissues, the data showed.

Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose witnessed increasing levels of out-of-stock products, by an average of 3.2% in the week ended 19 April, analysts observed.

Tesco saw the biggest increase in unavailability, particularly in the dry pasta segment, up from 22.3% out of stock to 46.4% by the end of the week.


Toilet paper was the most out-of-stock product at Tesco (24.3% in stock) compared to Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose (average of 50.4%).

'Running Low On Essential Items'

Chris Elliott, Insight Manager at Edge by Ascential, commented, “It seems that consumers are now running low on essential items that they had stockpiled several weeks ago, such as toilet roll and dry pasta, but could also be a response to the ‘lockdown’ being recently extended for at least another three weeks.

“However, retailers are now more prepared to handle increased demand, and many have also improved in their ability to replenish these items with ease.”

At Sainsbury’s, toilet paper and kitchen rolls were the most replenished products, the analysts added.


Morrisons saw dry pasta, rice, and products in tins and jars running out of stock in this period.

Online grocery giant Ocado experienced the greatest unavailability in frozen foods across most sub-categories such as frozen meat, poultry, frozen potatoes, and ice cream.

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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