The Surprising Items In High Demand During A Pandemic, And It's Not Toilet Paper
While thousands of Aussies are hoarding toilet paper, others simply cannot miss leg day. Or so the empty shelves suggest.
Exercise equipment has joined the likes of toilet paper and hand sanitiser as the 'must have' items Australians are stockpiling during the coronavirus pandemic.
The nation is tip-toeing closer to going into self-isolation, as all non-essential businesses have been forced to close their doors, impacting gyms and other fitness venues.
However, Aussies are apparently still eager to keep fit with home workout gear flying off the shelves at Kmart and Rebel Sport.
And dumbbells are --apparently -- a hot commodity.
Images of empty shelves have been routinely posted to Twitter, mainly of the toiler paper or soap aisle, but this week many users noted how their local Kmart or sports store had been stripped bare of workout gear.
The shift in Australia's panic-buying priorities comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed Australia's border would close to non-residents last Friday.
There is also a lockdown on non-essential services, causing many gyms to close their doors.
But it's not just gym gear selling out. There's also been a high demand for items such as laptops and office gear with an increasing number of Australians now working from home.
The Wall Street Journal reported due to the unprecedented surge in people working from home, coupled with disruptions to their supply chains due to coronavirus, businesses simply can't keep up.
Apple also announced nationwide store closures last week, encouraging shoppers to head online.
Australians have also flocked to alcohol retailers like Dan Murphys and BWS to stock up, amid concerns the lockdown could affect their booze supply.
For instance, spending on alcohol has surged by 20.4 per cent year on year as households stockpile beer, wine and spirits, according to recent figures from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
As part of the partial lockdown, bottle shops, supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, and convenience stores -- all considered essential -- will remain open.
However, confusion had also mounted around what constitutes as 'non-essential'.
Stockpiling has triggered supermarkets to enforce strict rationing rules like one packet of toilet paper per customer.
Panic-buying has become so extreme that Sportsbet is offering odds on the next item to be rationed.