Saturday, January 30, 2021

Meta-Panic Buying

There's a snow storm in our forecast, due tomorrow afternoon. Not a very big storm, mind you, just six inches (15 cm) or so. But my grocery store was completely mobbed already at 7:00 AM today, and the checkers told me it was worse yesterday. There really isn't any reason to rush to the store 48 hours before a storm hits. I think people rushed to the story two days early to beat, not the storm, but the pre-storm panic buying. They are afraid, not of the weather, but of the pre-storm crowds. So, meta-panic buying.


G. Verloren said...

Hit the nail on the head.

I lived in Florida for a very long time, this behavior could be seen even with minor hurricanes and even mere tropical storms. My perception is that it didn't used to really happen all that much, or at least not until dealing with a big storm, and over time it became more frequent and happened over smaller matters.

Another perception of mine is that stores don't restock anywhere near as quickly as they used to, so when there IS a panic buy and people clear the shelves, they're going to stay more or less empty for days and days. My understanding is that many companies have shifted dramatically away from keeping stock in the back, even with shelf stable products - meaning that once the shelves are clear, they remain empty until the next stock truck arrives, which is usually only once or twice a week.

pootrsox said...

Re "restocking"-- my rural stupidmarket sometimes goes weeks before the truck shows up with the restock supply. Not just paper goods (though even now the shelves are sparsely loaded!) but some kinds of canned goods, a lot of kinds of soda (even though those trucks show up regularly-- mfrs either are not bottling/canning some varieties or the regional manager isn't ordering them for our store).

And you do know there is a nationwide shortage of Grape Nuts, right? I'm just glad I bought 2 boxes last time! Still have one left.