Survey: Consumers stockpiling again, but still shopping in stores

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Survey: Consumers stockpiling again, but still shopping in stores

By Marianne Wilson - 12/14/2020

Increasing numbers of COVID cases and the return of state restrictions do not seem to be stopping U.S. consumers from heading in-store for essentials. 

Ninety-two percent of consumers reported that someone in their household is still purchasing essential items from physical stores, according to a survey by shopping rewards app Shopkick. As for where consumers are shopping, big-box retailers came out on top (88%), followed by grocery stores (80%), drug stores (61%), dollar stores (54%%), club stores (43%), and convenience stores (30%). 

The survey also found that 48% of Americans are more concerned about the pandemic now than just a month ago, leading shoppers to stockpile essentials at higher rates than at the start of the pandemic.

Other findings from the survey are below.

•    Although most consumers are still shopping in-store, 36% feel less comfortable doing so now than a month ago. Baby Boomers (47%) say they are taking fewer store trips per week than one month ago, compared to Gen X (43%), millennials (38%) and Gen Z (38%). 

•    Sixty-one percent of consumers say they are stocking up on essentials like toilet paper (87%), food items and water (85%), cleaning supplies (67%), hand sanitizer (61%),  medicine and medical items (48%), and pet supplies (37%0. This is a noticeable jump from the first wave of COVID in March, when a Shopkick survey found that less than half of consumers (47%) were stocking their pantries.

•    Seventy-six percent of consumers have noticed that essential items that were in-stock a month ago, like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, are now less available at their local store. 

•    While similar across the board, Millennials are the segment stocking up the most (65%), followed by Gen X (62%), Gen Z (59%) and Baby Boomers (57%). 

“These findings should serve as a huge wake-up call for retailers and brands,” said Dave Fisch, general manager of Shopkick. “The same issues that severely impacted supply chains during the first wave of COVID have returned as consumers revert to stocking up and panic buying. Retailers and brands must act immediately to implement strategies that will help keep store shelves well-stocked in order to maintain sales and consumer loyalty during this time.”

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