Out-of-Stocks Led to Billions in 2020 Lost Sales


In 2020, pandemic buying increased out-of-stock issues with various consumer packaged goods. Shoppers saw empty store shelves all around the country, especially in the paper towel and bath tissue aisle.

recent article in Supermarket News highlights the consumer product good categories with the highest missed-sales values. The top ten categories accounted for $3 billion in lost sales in 2020. Bath tissue and paper towels topped the list with a combined $1.5 billion, but there were some surprise categories, such as pet food, with nearly $500 million in lost sales, and frozen pizza, with out-of-stocks valued at over $100 million.

While many consumers experienced the inconvenience of not being able to buy needed goods during the pandemic, out-of-stocks occur in non-crisis times, too, threatening grocery profit margins. Out-of-stocks can lead to indirect costs, with retailers losing employee productivity and customer loyalty.

The best tool grocers have against out-of-stocks is a retail solution with an integrated modern inventory system. With real-time insights, grocers can monitor stock levels, proactively adjust orders, and plan for surges in demand. By looking at shopper data, grocers can find out-of-stock patterns. Grocers may not be able to predict the next crisis that will rattle store inventory, but with a smart retail solution, out-of-stocks can be better controlled and losses minimized.

Smarter inventory control is just one of the benefits of smart retail solutions for grocers. STCR helps grocers leverage customer, supplier, and market data, so stores run more smoothly, with the right amount of product on the shelves. Learn more about how STCR can help your store best prepare for and react to supply and demand changes.