It's happening again. As the second wave of COVID-19 knocks on our country's door there's a fear that more empty shelves in Canadian stores will follow suit.   

Back in March, Canadians were in for a wake-up call when people went into a buying frenzy of unhinged panic shopping.

Now, with a second wave looming over, stores are working to ensure we don't relive this.

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Empty toilet paper shelves 2.0?

At the beginning of the pandemic, Canadians witnessed nothing short of a total toilet paper apocalypse.

It got so bad that public health officials, who were busy fighting the good fight against the virus, had to intervene.

Ottawa’s public health body said that stocking up on toilet paper was definitely not a vital part of COVID-19 and that we had bigger fish to fry against the virus.

They then urged Canadians to not overdo it in preparation for the lockdown and first wave.

And the same message holds true for the second go-around as Canadians are seeing repeated behaviour. 

Is it panic buying or the new COVID-19 lifestyle? 

However, the shortages might not be what you think.

Experts say the second wave will bring shortages but not because of panic buying, but rather due to Canadians changing their lifestyle, according to CTV News.

In the report, experts said the change in consumer behaviour in the last month means more backorders will possibly arise from "upscale" items such as stationary bicycles to patio heaters.

Statistics Canada also said in July that retail sales skyrocketed, with a record-breaking $3.9 billion made in May. Which they said is an increase of 110% compared to the same time last year.

"The bottleneck won't be people buying tons of toilet paper," Diane J. Brisebois, Retail Council of Canada president and CEO told CTV News.

"It will be the supply chain trying to adjust to changes in lifestyles and discretionary spending habits."

Retailers aren't worried yet

Canadian retailers are undoubtedly preparing for a second wave in order to dodge vacant shelves this coming winter but have faith that Canadians will not panic buy this time.

Dino Bianco, CEO of Kruger Products, told City News that although people are getting worried due to COVID-19 cases going up across the country, he still has his doubts about shortages in the near future.

"I think you're starting to see a little of the similar behaviour that we saw in March," he said."I do not think it will be as severe." 

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