Orange County Register: “We’re headed for a product shortage and consumer panic of unprecedented proportions,” said Burt P. Flickinger III with the retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. “We’ve been doing store checks, and one wholesaler put out five pallets of Bounty paper towels. Within five minutes they were completely sold out.”
“Big brand suppliers have been lining their pockets with record-breaking levels of profit while failing to stockpile quantities of raw materials like boxes, bottles and containers,” he said. “We’re seeing unprecedented out-of-stock levels for paper towels, bathroom tissue, disinfectant wipes, Ziploc bags and liquid soap, as well as peanut butter and tuna.”
Over the past decade, Clorox, Kimberly-Clark, Colgate and other brand suppliers closed many of their manufacturing operations near major cities like Los Angeles and New York and moved them “to the middle of nowhere” where labor is cheaper, Flickinger said. That has slowed the supply as a result.
“They were following what the studies said, but that’s some of the worst consulting assumptions and assessments I’ve seen in decades,” he said.