Hand sanitiser sales ‘rose 255% last month’ amid coronavirus concerns

hand sanitiser

Sales of hand sanitiser rose by 255% in February amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, according to latest supermarket till roll data.

The figures from data company Kantar confirmed a trend reported by the retail industry.

Kantar also said that other kinds of liquid soap saw sales increase by 7% while 10% more was spent on household cleaners.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Given the media focus around the outbreak of COVID-19 in February, it’s unsurprising to see shoppers prudently protecting themselves from illness.”

The figures come a day after the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said sales of hand sanitiser had risen “as individuals and businesses make sensible precautions to reduce the spread of coronavirus”.

It also said that retailers were “taking necessary steps to meet the rise in demand for certain hygiene products”.

The BRC added: “Disruption to supply chains has been limited, and the availability of products remains good.

“Retailers are working closely with their suppliers and monitoring consumer behaviour to anticipate changes in future demand.”

Waitrose also said it had seen higher demand for certain products such as cleaning products and hand sanitisers and was working closely with suppliers to ensure stock was available.

Meanwhile, online retailer Ocado has told some customers that it was seeing “exceptionally high demand” – and advised them to place orders further in advance than they normally would.

In an email sent on Friday, the company said: “More people than usual seem to be placing particularly large orders.

“As a result, delivery slots are selling out quicker than expected.”

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons did not immediately respond when asked if they had seen an upturn in demand amid worries about the outbreak.

It emerged over the weekend that Tesco had sold out of most of its range of antibacterial hand sanitisers online.