Movers and SHAKERS
Toilet Paper Sales Unravel as Households are Flush with Paper Goods
2020 blurred people’s focus as fight-or-flight instincts sometimes overruled common sense; this caused many to react by… you were there… making runs on toilet paper.
The tear on products from Kimberly Clark (KMB), Proctor and Gamble (PG), and Georgia Pacific (GP) was far from a short squeeze on Charmin; people went very long the paper in 2020, anything left on shelves was spotty.
One year later, households are bumping up against expiration dates and storage limits as they work off their load of inventory.
The numbers are staggering; Americans spent $2 billion more on toilet paper in 2020 ($11 billion) than in a typical year, according to NielsinIQ. This hoarding of an extra 22% has been cutting into sales in 2021. The current pace is below $9 billion.
|According to reelpaper.com, the expiration date on the package of your favorite toilet paper can be passed as long as you don't get the product wet or allow dust and dirt to get into the packaging. According to Reel Paper, “the product can last years or even decades.”|
Sales Circling the Drain
Sales of toilet paper are down 0.2% for the 52-week period ended April 3. In January, according to NielsenIQ, toilet paper sales were down 4.3% from January 2020.
The declines have accelerated since then, with toilet-paper sales down about 14% in February and 33% in March, according to NielsenIQ. The drops, however, reflect comparisons to periods in which demand was soaring.
The Under/Over on TP Sales in 2021
As economist Milton Friedman often repeated, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” this is true of companies that benefitted from last year’s frenzy. They aren’t getting off scott free as they find the current period sales have been perforated. Fortunately, the pile of profits from last year should average out with current lower sales as the year rolls on and consumers eventually work off their last sheet.
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