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Op/ed: During Coronavirus Outbreak, It’s Hoard Times

Business Researchers Examine Buying Behavior in the Face of Potential Disasters

By Xiaodan Pan, Benny Mantin and Martin Dresner

Hoarding TP

Photo by Shutterstock

New research looks at behavior leading consumers to stockpile in emergencies.

As concern over the spread of novel coronavirus deepens, retailers are struggling to keep pace with a seemingly overwhelming urge to stockpile.

In an op-ed yesterday in The Conversation, researchers Martin Dresner, a professor of logistics, business and public policy at the University of Maryland, Xiaodan Pan of Concordia University and Benny Mantin of the University of Luxembourg explain their research into the factors that drive consumers to empty store shelves and hoard goods in the face of risks, and how retailers should respond.

Both retailers and local governments face challenges caused by consumer stockpiling when emergencies such as the coronavirus outbreak hit.

Compared to more predictable environmental emergencies such as hurricanes, the diffusion process of the coronavirus outbreak is difficult to forecast. The widespread outbreak of the coronavirus may also lead to global shortages on a larger scale than the hurricane events, thus making it more difficult for retailers to shift inventory around their networks to accommodate regional demands.

Read the rest in The Conversation.


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