Coronavirus sparks demand swell for online wholesale retailer

Spreading fears have led to a 200 percent uptick in Boxed.com traffic

Spreading coronavirus fears have led to a more than 200 percent increase of overall traffic to Boxed.com and sales of antibacterial items on the website have increased more than 5,000 percent.

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“We’re starting to see a run on all packaged goods,” Boxed CEO and co-founder Chieh Huang told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney.

Consumers are not the only ones increasing their purchases from Boxed. The average business order is up more than 60 percent in terms of value, according to Huang. Companies that used only to buy items for their break rooms are now ordering health products as well.

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As soon as inventory comes into the dock, Huang noted, it’s out of stock. Orders have reached the point where as soon as items have reached the Boxed shelves, they are off to a customer.

(Photo: Boxed)

In addition to health products, Boxed is shipping food items such as bottled water and milk, according to Huang who suggested that customers are stocking up for the long haul.

Despite the massive uptick in demand, Boxed is seeing signs of a supply slowdown.

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“We’re starting to see allocations from the manufacturers that say, ‘Hey, I know you ordered 40 truckloads of it. We can only get you two.’ So that we’ll see a disruption in what’s on the shelves,” Huang said.

Another snag that his company could face is the human element in the delivery process. A person is needed to pack and deliver inventory. Fortunately, he reassured Varney, Boxed’s workforce remains healthy and can still fulfill orders.

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In the midst of coronavirus fears, Boxed will not be increasing its prices to capitalize on swelling demand, Huang affirmed. His customers will see the same prices on the website now as they did one month ago, he said.

“I don’t think we do such a noble thing as serving in the military of serving in the government. We sell toilet paper and anti-bacterial wipes, but at the end of the day, we all do something for society," Huang said. "What I told the replenishment team is that this is your moment. This is what we can do to try to keep it in stock and this is our little way of helping,”

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