The maker of top-selling toilet roll Andrex has moved to reassure customers concerned about shortages during England's second coronavirus lockdown.
When the pandemic struck in March, shoppers reported difficulty in finding toilet paper after panic-buying emptied supermarket shelves. But this time, Kimberly-Clark said it was fully ready, with 100 million rolls in UK warehouses. The firm said that whatever happened, it was "prepped for stockpiling. Even back in March, when supermarket orders more than doubled overnight (from 60 to 132 orders per day), supplies of Andrex never ran out," it added.
A fresh four-week lockdown is due to begin in England on Thursday, when shops selling non-essential goods will be required to close. Supermarkets, which will remain open, are keen to avoid running out of items because of customers buying more than they need in anticipation of shortages.
However, other parts of the UK have already seen the return of tighter coronavirus restrictions, causing other manufacturers to respond to higher demand. Areas of Scotland and Wales reported increased panic-buying in September, with toilet rolls among the items selling out.
Wepa UK, which manufactures toilet paper and kitchen roll at a plant in Maesteg in Wales, said at the time that it had increased production by 23%. Mike Docker, the firm's joint managing director, said it had "learnt lessons" from the spring, adding: "If panic buying does happen extensively again, it will not have the same effect on supply as it did in March."