While stocking up on some – totally essential – supplies at CVS yesterday, like cough drops, ear plugs, wine, and cling wrap (an odd combination to get from the pharmacy, but I try to get as much as possible in a single visit to a store visit right now), I noticed with much astonishment that the shelves where the toilet paper would be are still empty! And not just that of course: if there was any, there’d be a limit of one pack per customer. How come?
Why are people buying so much toilet paper? At first I thought well of course, they’re all shitting themselves in fear of the virus – but then they’d need more adult diapers and laundry detergent I figured. So that couldn’t be it.
Joking aside (just for a second), after the initial spike from hoarders, this is a supply chain problem now of course: staying at home, working from home, means business at home. There’s a greatly increased end consumer demand for toilet paper while the commercial demand (from restaurants, for example) has essentially vanished – and as the empty shelves prove, it’s apparently not that easy to realign these two different supply chains
At the same time, restaurants are generally struggling because they only have takeout and delivery customers right now. No one’s taking their business there anymore. Ahem.
So here’s the idea: restaurants stock up on toilet paper from their commercial supply chains – and patrons get some toilet paper as a free bonus with each delivery and takeout order. For every $10 you order, you get one roll. That way, restaurants get business, and consumers can do their business.
Genius, I know…