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Utah company sees sales spike in wake of coronavirus

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jan 28, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — As worries of the deadly coronavirus grow in the United States, a Utah company said they’re seeing a huge spike in sales from people who want to be prepared, should cases continue to rise.

In a Salt Lake City warehouse on Tuesday, workers stayed busy with boxing up shipments.

An assembly line of employees unfolded cardboard, strapped on tape, stuffed boxes with supplies, and prepared to send packages to customers around the world.

The company, ReadyWise, carries an assortment of survival goods and emergency kits.

They’ve been taping up more boxes than normal over the past week.

“We saw seven times increase over the weekend, and it’s even been bigger,” said Brandon Eriksson, ReadyWise Vice President of Sales. “Yesterday was a record day for us on our own website.”

Eriksson indicated that customers are concerned over an outbreak of coronavirus.

The deadly virus originated in China, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling it a serious public health threat.

Dozens of people in China have died from coronavirus, and the virus has sickened hundreds of people around the world—including several people in the US.

It’s led to travel and health warnings.

Eriksson said customers are worried about the unknowns, and wondering if the virus will affect food and water supplies. The company’s food kits are flying off the shelves, as people prepare to potentially hunker down.

“When you read the headlines, you see so many millions of people are basically being locked down in China,” Eriksson said. “I think people are nervous that they may end up being locked down in their own home.”

While workers stocked food kits and packages in the ReadyWise warehouse on Tuesday afternoon, employees at the call center stayed late to answer the phones.

“How many people are you looking to get food for?” a sales associate asked, to a customer making a phone order. The customer inquired about food kits and other survival products.

Eriksson explained how FEMA recommends keeping two weeks’ worth of food and water on hand. However, Eriksson said in the past week, people have started to purchase more than double what they normally buy—stockpiling about a month’s worth of supplies instead.

“I think you just never know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Eriksson said.

Even with the several confirmed cases in the US, the CDC has stressed that the threat of coronavirus in the US is low.

Still, people are turning to Utah—a state known for emergency preparedness—to stay ready, no matter what.

For more information on the coronavirus, visit the CDC's website.