March 13, 2020

How to ease panic buying? Assure supply at grocery stores and through delivery services, says supply chain expert

iyer-a20 Ananth Iyer. (Courtesy photo) Download image

WHAT: Grocery stores are selling out of food, hygiene products and cleaning supplies as schools and businesses across the United States close their doors due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

EXPERT: Ananth Iyer is a professor of supply chain management at Purdue University and director of the Global Supply Chain Management Initiative. He also is senior associate dean in the Krannert School of Management. Iyer’s research focuses on how businesses like grocery stores use supply chains to match supply with consumer demand.

QUOTE: “Increased purchases by consumers, if driven by fears of supply shortage, can be eased by assurance of supply. Consumers may also be worried about travel restrictions, which could decrease their store visit frequency. In short, consumer purchases may reflect both rational calculations and forecasted future issues. However, a combination of assured supply through direct delivery, combined with immediate supply from the store, may be a measured approach to reassure consumers and manage costs.”

MORE INFORMATION: Iyer was interviewed by Marketplace about supply and demand at grocery stores. The interview is available online

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Writer: Joseph Paul, 765-494-9541, paul102@purdue.edu

Source: Ananth Iyer, 765-494-4514, aiyer@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: A supply chain stock image and photograph of the professor are available to journalists via Google Drive.

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