The second wave of coronavirus storage could be coming – and it goes beyond toilet paper, cleaning products

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As winter sets in, more than half of U.S. consumers plan to replenish their assortment of essential goods and commodities they initially stocked up when the coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year, according to a new study from the data-driven technology service company Inmar Intelligence.

When the pandemic hit the United States in March, 64% percent of buyers created inventory of products as a result, according to Inmar.

Today, around 57% of shoppers are considering restocking amid growing fears of a “potential second wave of COVID-19,” which could lead to another round of empty store shelves.

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An elderly shopper wears personal protective equipment as she walks through the meat section of a grocery store, Saturday, April 18, 2020, in the Harlem neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

More than a quarter of buyers, or around 27%, are considering revamping their winter inventory amid concerns that some products may not be in stock when they need them, the company said. Meanwhile, 27% are more concerned about the safety of in-store purchases if a second wave were to occur.

Hygiene products again topped buyers’ stock lists, with 67% toilet paper and 57% looking for hand sanitizer – both of which were in high demand in the early stages of the pandemic, and left empty store shelves and online retailers charging the sky. high prices.

Canned foods (54%), disinfectant wipes (53%) and paper towels (52%) are also products that consumers have stocked or plan to stock up for the coming season.

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Unlike their first stock, however, 45% of buyers plan to invest in new items such as frozen dinners, pasta, snacks, and cleaning supplies.

A shopper selects the few remaining items in the meat section at a grocery store in Austin, Texas, March 13, 2020 (Reuters / Brad Brooks)

Overall, about 55% of shoppers plan to purchase products in-store, “suggesting that physical retailers are still essential for consumers when shopping for everyday items,” the company said.

Inmar CEO David Mounts said that during this time of heightened concern, “shoppers will look to their local retailers for consistency and seamless customer service,” especially as the shopping season arrives. .

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“It will be important for retailers not only to prepare for this new surge in demand, but also to deliver value to customers during this time of crisis to maintain increased trust and customer loyalty,” Mounts said. .

But it is not yet known when – if ever – purchasing habits will return to normal.

Even when the pandemic subsides, around 54% of buyers plan to hold stock of merchandise for fear of another emergency, the company said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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