Panic Buying in India During COVID-19
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 10, Pages 3673-3679
AbstractCoronavirus induced pandemic brought with itself significant changes to our daily lives and at the same time, created huge waves in all activities of economic nature. The pandemic went on to restrict our travel, instigated shortage in the labour force, had a huge impact on operations of factories, logistics went on to face significant disruptions, sparked closing of outlets for products which were not essential and which were in the business of providing food service. Despite the lifting of lockdown induced restrictions, the social distancing norms have presented a fresh challenge, coupled with shortage in the labour force.
More importantly, this coronavirus induced pandemic brought forth a huge change in consumer behaviourism by inducing panic driven buying of stocks considered “staple” which in turn led to retailers in panic due to shortage of stock of certain goods. The phrase “panic driven buying” is used to indicate such behaviour of the consumers wherein they buy products in quantities considered to be unusually large. What drives this buying of products in quantities considered to be unusually large is the anticipation that during such a disaster which is perceived could or would lead to shortage in supply and increase in demand which would make their availability scarce and in turn drive up the prices. Hence, in anticipation of such a phenomenon, consumers start panic driven buying of products in quantities considered to be unusually large.
The problem with such panic driven buying of products in quantities considered to be unusually large is that such commodity or commodities becomes scarce in terms of their availability and more often than not, result in situations akin to stock out. Such situations, in turn, prevent or limit individuals belonging to vulnerable groups like that of poor or elderly, groups which might need certain products more urgently than the rest or might not be able to afford buying bulk quantities in order to safeguard their future interests (Yuen et al., 2020, p. 1). However, due to panic driven buying of products in quantities considered to be unusually large, their access to such much needed products is hampered and they are unable to do anything about it. The present paper seeks to analyse the consumer behaviour in relation to panic driven buying of products in quantities considered to be unusually large, pertaining to the territory of India.
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