THE TP STORY ROLLS ON
Last month, we reported on the record-breaking toilet paper sales seen during the Extreme Buying stage of COVID-19-related purchase behavior. We’re here to give you a much-anticipated update to the questions you were all pondering: how is toilet paper faring now? And will I be able to secure this precious commodity in stores moving forward?
For starters, TP has yet to return to its glory of #1 ranking CPG category based on daily dollar sales. As a reminder, its rank is generally 20th or 30th, but on March 11 and 12 it jumped to #1, as consumers fled to stores to stock up. By March 16, the category dipped back to #50, due to lower inventories, stockouts, and store rationing.
Partial stock outs have persisted since the start of Extreme Buying, and have continued throughout Home-Confined Buying from March 22 onward, with peaks on March 23, when 70% of U.S. grocery and drug stores were significantly out of stock of toilet paper for some part of the day.
The good news? As of April 19, partial stockout rates dipped to 48%. And as stockouts have decreased, toilet paper has slowly climbed back up the ranks, averaging at around #17 the week ending April 18. And though sales fell 58% from April 8-April 18 compared to the prior period—TP sales were still 27% higher than pre-COVID-19 buying.
So will you be able to find those precious rolls moving forward? Based on lower stockout rates, chances look good.