Experts: Toilet paper drought not a supply chain issue

Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 2:29 PM EDT
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The coronavirus has led to panic buying with people stocking up on food and goods. One item that's really hard to find is toilet paper, but that could be changing soon.

At stores everywhere shoppers are seeing shelves that usually hold toilet paper wiped clean.

Other stores are limiting customers to only two, If youre lucky enough to find any. It's become so bad the police in Newport, Oregon posted a plea on Facebook: "It's hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper."

"This is not a supply issue, it's a demand issue," said Scott Luton, the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He says manufacturers have ramped up production and are getting TP to stores faster. but panic buying is keeping shelves empty. "We've got to resist hoarding, you know, buy what you need and use what you buy."

The rush on TP is a surprise benefit for small businesses with some now swamped with orders.

"I think its something people desperately don't want to be without," said Aaron Doades, CEO of Peach, a luxury toilet paper brand which ships direct to subscribers. He says business has been on a roll since stores ran out. "The amount of new subscribers we get in a month we were getting every hour."

Doades is speeding up production to meet the sudden demand.

"Our supply chains are strong," Luton said. He says when the panic buying ends, aisles will quickly be flush with TP again.

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