Since May 2020, right after the major onslaught of panic buying in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. retailers have lost more than $800 million in potential value sales on toilet paper alone because they did not have on hand what customers wanted to buy in their stores, according to NielsenIQ.
Toilet paper ($837 million), paper towels ($689 million) and multi-purpose cleaners ($352 million) were first, second and third in terms of missed value sales due to on-shelf availability issues within household care, with dog food ($274 million) and cat food ($209 million) following closely as fourth and fifth, respectively.
When looking at the top 10 categories with the highest missed value sales, approximately $3 billion in sales were lost throughout the U.S. due to out-of-stock issues on these categories alone from May 2020 to February 2021, NielsenIQ reported.
“As one of the easier retail problems to fix, managing out of stocks is clearly critical as it significantly affects the revenue of manufacturers and retailers,” said Richard Cook, intelligent analytics leader for NielsenIQ. “Not only can retailers lose a significant amount of their sales if the products are not on the shelf, but out-of-stocks also result in reduced customer satisfaction and lower loyalty levels. Our research shows that 30 percent of shoppers will visit new stores when they can’t find what they are looking for in their stores, and 70 percent of shoppers will buy a different brand when a product they are seeking is out of stock.”
“As we see vaccinations rise in the U.S., with people yearning to socialize and be with their families, we might see out of stocks on Easter items – similar to what we measured during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays last year,” said Cook. “Warmer weather and the reopening of schools could put pressure on categories like sunscreen, lunch meat and insect repellant in the coming months. Getting the right analytical models in place to avoid out of stock is essential to ensure retailers and manufacturers don’t miss out on millions in value sales.”
NielsenIQ is the leader in providing the most complete, unbiased view of consumer behavior, globally. Powered by a ground-breaking consumer data platform and fueled by rich analytic capabilities, NielsenIQ enables confident decision-making for the world’s leading consumer goods companies and retailers.
Using comprehensive data sets and measuring all transactions equally, NielsenIQ gives clients a forward-looking view into consumer behavior in order to optimize performance across all retail platforms. The Advent International portfolio company has operations in nearly 100 markets, covering more than 90 percent of the world’s population.