Disinfecting wipes from Oakland-based Clorox could be hard to find on shelves until 2021, despite the company CEO's earlier prediction to NBC News that they could be expected to be restocked by the summer.
CEO Benno Dorer told Reuters Monday that the "entire supply chain is stressed" and "we feel like it's probably going to take until 2021 before we're able to meet all the demand that we have."
The wipes are made of the same in-demand material as is used to make masks, medical gowns and medical wipes.
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Clorox said it typically sets aside products for flu seasons, but COVID-19 has driven demand to a uncharted territory. The company said it cannot keep up with the demand for its disinfectants, which has multiplied by six times during the pandemic.
A representative of The Clorox Company provided the following statement to NBC Bay Area on Tuesday:
"There has continued to be unprecedented demand for disinfecting products, which exceeded expectations in our fourth quarter due to worsening COVID trends. At the current rate of elevated demand, we think we’ll be able to catch up with demand in wipes by next summer. We’re pushing as hard as we can to bring more supply online and expect sequential improvement between now and then. We have a high sense of urgency about this and are doing everything feasible to expand supply capacity, including running our manufacturing facilities 24/7; adding more than 10 new suppliers since our third quarter to help maximize product output; and, of course, taking care of our frontline teams, who are critical to the overall effort."
Meanwhile, stores across the Bay Area feature empty shelves where Clorox disinfectant wipes normally would sit. Online retailers like Amazon are also out of stock.