Updated August 6, 2020 - 4:12 am
One of the most sought-after products since the start of the pandemic shutdown in March has been Clorox disinfecting wipes.
The wipes have been nearly impossible to find on store shelves — and that appears likely to continue well into 2021.
Clorox’s president and CEO-elect, Linda Rendle, said Monday that the company might not be able to restock the product in stores until next year.
“We are producing and shipping more disinfecting wipes than we ever have before,” a Clorox Co. spokeswoman said Wednesday. “As soon as they’re on the shelf, people scoop them up. This is not surprising given the continued, worsening trends of COVID-19.”
She said the Oakland, California-based company hopes the shortages will be resolved by next summer.
Other items in short supply, including Clorox bleach, should have supply issues fixed within four to six months, a spokeswoman said.
She said that the company is “running our manufacturing facilities 24/7 and have added more than 10 new suppliers in the last few months to help maximize product output.”
Other media reports said Clorox had supply chain issues and a shortage of components from manufacturing facilities in China and elsewhere, something denied by the company spokeswoman
“We’re making more wipes than ever before, and we ship our products to stores every day, but they’re scooped up as soon as they’re on shelf,” she said. “So it’s a function of continued elevated and unprecedented consumer demand, which isn’t surprising given that COVID-19 trends have worsened. For perspective, we’ve seen demand increase 500%, which is difficult for any supply chain to meet.”
The product disappeared from store shelves quickly before hospitals and caregivers became priority recipients of the product.
Clorox has benefited from the demand for household cleaning products since the pandemic began. CLX, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has risen from $153 per share at the start of 2020 to a close of $237.74 per share Tuesday.
Clorox has manufacturing operations in 25 countries and sells its products in more than 100 countries. It’s home care and launcry sales accounted for about 30% of total company sales in fiscal year 2020.