Data: Grocery supply chains stretched by a second wave of stockpiling

Coronavirus panic buying UK 2

As the UK enters its sixth week of lockdown, evidence has emerged of a second phase of consumers stocking up on essential items that may have run low over the last month.

Data from Edge by Ascential shows that average out-of-stock levels across the major UK online grocers increased again over the week to April 21, ending the week at 16.3% compared to 14.1% two weeks earlier.

Online out of stocks had been stabilising in the weeks since the UK entered the ‘delay phase’, as grocers and their suppliers worked overtime to increase supply and employ additional resources to feed the nation.

But unavailability levels seen over the past week indicate that consumers may now be running low on essentials bought a month ago, leading to a second wave of high demand. Average out-of-stock levels for the UK grocers before the coronavirus pandemic stood at 1.3%.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few moments before your account is updated.