A ‘twindemic’ of Covid-19 and flu cases is putting strain on staffing levels and medicine line availability in convenience stores.
One store owner, who asked not to be named, told Better Retailing: “I got hit pretty badly by an infection over the past month, and was away from the shop for two weeks. Luckily, I had family I could trust to take over, but I couldn’t do anything during that period.”
Meanwhile, Andy Morrison, trading director of Dee Bee Wholesale, said the firm had seen a shortage of medicines such as paracetamols.
He added: “There’s a lot of illness going around. Members of the public who are ill don’t want to trek further into town to a supermarket to get medicines, but it doesn’t look good on a local convenience store when their stock is low.”
“I can’t get Lemsip for love nor money,” said one retailer, a view echoed by many others.
The demand was shown in the latest market stats, where sales of cough lozenges in December were more than 50% higher than the year before.
Vince Malone, of Tenby Stores & Post Office in Pembrokeshire, prepared for the flu and Covid-19 wave. He told Better Retailing: “We stocked up on medicine before December, so we haven’t had to make any orders over the past couple of weeks.
“It’s selling really well as a distress purchase.”