2022 Volume 5 Issue 2 Pages 17-35
Panic buying is a consumer behavior caused by negative emotions and social influences after a disaster. This study identifies (1) how panic buying occurs over time and (2) who panic buys. Based on the theoretical background of the behavioral and emotional nature of panic buyers, we conducted empirical segmentation to integrate behavioral and psychological data. This study focuses on Japanese consumer packaged goods during the COVID-19 outbreak and finds that there are two waves of increased purchases related to the timing of government interventions between February and April 2020. One of the unique features of this study is combining individual purchase data with psychological factors such as anxiety for COVID-19 and impulsiveness for unplanned purchase measured by a questionnaire survey. Another one is allowing for heterogeneity among consumers in terms of demographic or psychographic characteristics. The results show that panic buying occurred for a limited segment of consumers, that is, consumers with more purchasing experience, including female with larger families hardly panic buy and rather stockpile a little more than usual.