Among the most sought after items during the outbreak of covid-19, toilet paper in particular flew off store shelves in the early days of self-isolation. While many stores sold out, one manufacturer beefed up output in an attempt to meet rising demand.
Outlook Nebraska sold 40,000 rolls of toilet paper in 24 hours. The nonprofit is the largest employer of blind and vision-impaired individuals not just in Nebraska, but in a seven-state area surrounding it.
Ordinarily, the customers of Outlook Nebraska consist of businesses and government entities. For example, they make sales to prisons. However, recent demand surge prompted its leadership to start making direct sales to the public.
After 20 years of operation, they decided to expand their customer base temporarily to an online marketplace. To prepare, they ramped up production. Employees worked extra hours to provide product to the general public.
They amassed 1,000 cases of toilet paper, each containing 40 rolls. The cost of each case came out to $30, which break down to 75 cents per roll. They set the limit per customer to 5 cases.
When they opened for pickup last Thursday, cars lined up down the block to retrieve their toilet paper.
Outlook Nebraska’s senior public relations specialist Rachel Carver attributed the enthusiastic response to both increased demand as well as the convenient pick up process. Drivers could pull up to receive their toilet paper without having to enter a crowded supermarket.
Furthermore, Carver suggested buyers saw an added bonus in supporting a local nonprofit business.
While Outlook Nebraska sought to fulfill growing demand, they’re unlikely to continue at the same output. “Of course we want to do what we can for the community,” said Carver. However, she suggested the next sale might further limit the amount of cases available to each consumer.