Demand for long shelf-life products, household chemicals and personal hygiene items skyrocketed in Russia in February amid a global scare of the coronavirus, Vedomosti reports citing a number of retail networks and manufacturers.
Infoline Analytics Director General Mikhail Burmistrov says that coronavirus fears are the main reason for the growing demand. Many Russians still remember the late Soviet period, when stores often had little to offer, while others fear that the country will be hit by a crisis like the ones it has seen in the past several years, when the price of certain goods – for instance, buckwheat – could suddenly rise, the analyst said.
“Canned goods, cereals and pasta are cheap and often sold with discounts, so many people can afford stockpiling them,” Burmistrov explained.
It is easy to understand the reasons behind a feverish demand for food, household chemicals and personal hygiene items in online stores, the expert went on to say. People are afraid to go outside for fear of contracting the virus. Visiting an offline store bears the risk of getting infected. At the same time, online trading platforms provide customers with an opportunity to avoid potentially dangerous public places.
Given the lack of information about the coronavirus and the unprecedented preemptive measures that the government has been taking, people fear the unknown and are instinctively trying to make themselves safe and create an impression that they have the situation under control, Vedomosti writes.
This is why they are hoarding surgical masks, medicines and long shelf-life products, psychologist at the Agressia. Pro center Vladislav Volkov pointed out, according to the business newspaper.