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Has hoarding become an added pressure on Supply Chains


Hoarding / Panic Buying is a special pressure on Supply Chains. Supply cannot keep up with demand chaos. The supply exists and is being manufactured. But it cannot move as quickly as panickers are taking it off shelves.

The sequence is go to stores. If they are out of stock, go online. If they are out of stock, repeat sequences until purchase is achieved. There are two parts to what is happening.  One, hoarding/panic buying  that is drawing down supplies faster than they can be replenished.  The supply is there and being manufactured.  It is getting delivered to keep up with the panickers. Second, and perhaps more important, is that crowd avoidance/social distancing will shift business from stores to online sites. How much of that business will come back to stores and how much will remain in e-commerce? And the longer that customers avoid stores, does that influence how much stays online?   One other comment, if you look at the e-commerce sales buyers–and their sales percentages–a very few retailers own the market.  Will the online go to the firms with robust supply chains to satisfactorily service customers?  If so, what does all this mean to store retailers and weak e-commerce providers?  Will the gap between leaders and laggards become too great?  Will there be a tipping point? Is coronavirus speeding up the shift to e-commerce?  Will it change retail apocalypse to retail Armageddon?  Many retailers and CPG/FMCG manufacturers have wasted the past few years with non-robust business and supply chain transformations.  Has the virus closed their windows of opportunity? Amazon is trying to hire 100,000 people to deal with a surge of orders. How much of this volume will stay with them when CoViD is under control? How much of surge e-commerce business will other retailers get? Do they have a New Supply Chain to handle it as customers will expect? 

Will retail finally define omnichannel and where and how each channel should be used. Clear lines. This has difference over emphasizing one channel and then having  redundant geographic coverage with the other.  And, service is all about the new supply chain management.
For a continuing update of coronavirus and logistics/supply chain management, read my blog at: http://ltdmanagement.blogspot.com/2020/02/coronavirus-supply-chainslogisticstrans.html
In this Opinion-Editorial (OpEd) contribution, Tom Craig, President LTD Management, Pennsylvania, USA, a leading authority and professional consultant on logistics and supply chain management and regular contributor to Global Supply Chain who examines the new supply chain innovation as it applies to e-commerce.

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