The Clorox wipes shortage is expected to last into 2021

Marco Green
August 4, 2020

Grocery shelves won't be fully stocked with Clorox's disinfecting wipes until next year, CEO Benno Dorer told Reuters on Monday, as the world's biggest cleaning products maker struggles with overwhelming pandemic-led demand for its top product. Rendle, named president in May in a move that telegraphed her ascent to the CEO job, has held several major roles at Clorox over the years that have given her a deep understanding of the company's inner workings, including leading global operations for its cleaning business.

Ms Rendle has been with Clorox for almost two decades, while Benno Dorer would step down after about six years as CEO to make way for her in September.

Clorox wipes have been a hot commodity during the coronavirus pandemic - so much so that many areas experienced shortages. In particular, the popular disinfecting wipes made by his company will not be back in full supply until at least next year.

One issue is that material used to create the wipes, polyester spunlace, is also in short supply.

Dorer had initially predicted in May that his company would be able to restock the shelves with those wipes by this summer, but the demand has been so overwhelming that his supply chain literally can not keep up. "We feel like it's probably going to take until 2021 before we're able to meet all the demand that we have", Dorer said.

To accommodate the uptick in demand amid the current health crisis, Clorox has stated that they have made "major" capital investments in order to increase the number of products that they can manufacture each quarter. Clorox began outsourcing some manufacturing this year to 10 third-party supplies, and plans to keep looking for more.

The company is understocked in most of the products it makes - which includes Glad trash bags and Burt's Bees lip balm, Reuters reports. The Health and Wellness unit that contains Clorox bleach and cleaning products had a 33% sales increase and a 84% increase in pre-tax earnings.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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