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Americans are stocking up on toilet paper again
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Procter & Gamble Co., the biggest U.S. manufacturer of toilet paper and paper towels, said it is ramping up production as demand increases. The moves come as several retailers said P&G is limiting shipments of paper products to stores.
The maker of Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels is speeding up production lines, running factories 24 hours a day, seven days a week and investing to increase shipping volumes, a company spokeswoman said. P&G declined to comment on limits to retailers.
The recent jump in demand comes after many months in which paper-product sales plummeted to below pre-pandemic levels as stocked-up Americans stopped buying.
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P&G says government stimulus, preparation for back-to-school and rising Covid-19 cases have Americans going to the store more often and buying more household staples. Meanwhile, cleaning habits born of the pandemic remain.
The situation isn't as dire as it was early in the pandemic, when panicked customers cleared shelves as they stockpiled large quantities of paper towels and toilet paper, according to industry data, manufacturers and retailers.
Paper products, which include paper towels and toilet paper, were 86% in stock as of Aug. 29, according to data from market-research firm IRI. That is a lower in-stock rate than consumer products on average, but nowhere near the height of last year's toilet paper shortage when paper products were just 40% in stock.