Twindemic of Covid and flu puts indies under strain

'I can’t get Lemsip for love nor money,' said one retailer, a view echoed by many others

flu covid twindemic sickness illness

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.” 


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