Consumers Back at it Again with Panic Buying Habit

The Bay Area is once again currently experiencing another panic buying sprees across its grocery stores and supermarkets. Due to the sudden spike of coronavirus cases within the district, locals got back into the said terrifying customer habit used by many people last March before the strict implementation of lockdowns occurred.

Recently, supermarkets and grocery shops scattered across the Bay Area get filled with crazed shoppers who purchase necessities in bulk once again. Despite the dangers of supply shortages not happening any time soon, Costco shops around the state get long lines of customers waiting to go in and buy what they have to buy.

Most Recent Panic Buying Experiences in the Bay Area and Explanations Behind Hoarding

On Friday, the Marin County Safeway has experienced flat-out empty grocery shelves as consumers flocked inside the store and bought a bulk amount of items in their shopping carts. According to resident shopper Matt Chornock, he has observed that toilet stocks in grocery stores serve as a test to see if people would hoard-buy them again in the past few months – like how they did earlier this year as the pandemic struck. Chornock said that both shipping centers and suppliers experience unneeded pressure due to the customers’ impromptu hoarding habits. Panic shopping disproportionately impacts not only businesses but also individuals in general. People like essential workers, elderly citizens, and immigrant laborers all come across struggles in trying to purchase their necessities due to lack of time to do it and other physical disabilities. A similar situation also happened recently in San Francisco, where news media KRON4 reports the sudden increase of panic shopping among locals, which ultimately led to the municipality’s supermarkets’ long lines and empty shelves.

Going back to the action of impromptu hoarding, it causes more harm than good for most people affected by the impulsive habit. Individuals’ mixed feelings of irrational anxieties and material deficiencies are what encourages them to do panic buying. The buying trend literary piece posted by the news outlet Chronicle last month pointed out several things that may lead to this behavior. According to the Chronicle, the pandemic’s progressively worsening condition has inflated people’s feelings of overwhelming gloom and despair toward unrealistic perceptions and negative thoughts about the country’s food stability. 

Even without the coronavirus outbreak, people still tend to hoard stuff in fear of experiencing scarcity in resources, especially in times of emergencies. This year has proven itself to be one manic ride, urging human beings to practice panic buying in hopes of securing themselves with supplies in case anything happens. However, individuals often get pushed by their unrealistic fears and perceptions to execute such impulsive behaviors. Everyone has to remind themselves that by the end of the day, the anxieties they have are illogical, and shopping their way out of panic would not resolve anything at all.

Panic Buying is Not the Answer

If you ever find yourself in a grocery store and see people filling their shopping carts with more stocks than they could live by, don’t get pressured with their actions. Remain calm, and only get what you need when buying something in the grocery stores or supermarkets. Avoid giving in to the urge to empty shelves and take more than you demand – always think of other people who might need the items more than you do. Even if everyone else is doing it, you don’t need to follow their examples and remain grounded like always. After all, panic buying cannot solve anything in the end – it would only result in stocks wasted and supplies scarce for others who might need them.