As coronavirus cases surge around the country, California-based Clorox Co. is struggling to meet demand for its cleaning and disinfecting products, warning that shortages will extend through mid-2021.
The bleach maker had previously hoped to be fully restocked by this summer, but disinfecting products are critical in preventing transmission of COVID-19 as the U.S. breathlessly waits for a vaccine rollout. The disease has killed 289,000 Americans, a higher toll than in any other nation.
In a Thursday interview on "NBC Nightly News," Clorox Chief Operating Officer Eric Reynolds said the company realizes consumers are "very frustrated" and its personnel feel the same way.
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"We are producing more wipes than ever, but the demand is staying in incredible high levels," he remarked.
"People are suffering, Covid is surging, but everything we know right now – we probably won’t be back in the type of in-stock positions, or you know, what people are used to going to the store, until mid-2021," he told Vicky Nguyen.
Clorox wipes were some of the first items to fly off of store shelves in March, alongside hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
Lysol has also reported challenges on its website, telling shoppers it's "experiencing unprecedented and accelerated demand" and that teams are "actively working around the clock to increase production and delivery to our retailers, with the goal to maximize access to our products.”
To fight against stockpiling, big-box stores have been forced to place limits on the numbers of certain items that customers can buy.
Reynolds noted that Clorox is planning to increase production and will deliver 1.5 million wipes and canisters every day by February.