Toilet paper in, baseball products out

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s in high demand. Toilet paper can be difficult to find in stores across Kansas. One business in Wichita is forced to pivot its model as our country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

During the month of March, Waxene Products thought its business model would center around baseball. They sell chalk, soil, and oil dry to various schools across our state.

“That’s probably going to sit out there until things go back in full swing,” said LaDonna Norris, co-owner of Waxene Products.

A lot changed for the Wichita business in just a matter of days. They also sell cleaning supplies in bulk to businesses which including cleaning rags, paper towels and toilet paper.

“There was 300 to 400 cases of toilet paper that we normally bring in. I ordered some, and then, I thought well, I better order more. So, I went back in the next morning, and it was down to 35 cases,” said Norris, who was talking about how toilet paper can’t seem to stay on the shelves.

Waxene Products told KSN toilet paper and paper towels only make up about a quarter of its business. Right now, it appears it’s the most in-demand products they have. They said it’s not a matter of if they can get it, but rather when it will arrive at its door.

“I actually have probably six or seven tickets that I am waiting for orders to come in from our distributors,” said Norris.

She’s constantly checking its wholesale suppliers to keep up with the demand. At last check, one was out, the other had a limited supply. Some of its customers are also calling about other in-demand products like hand sanitizer. However, on Tuesday it was sold out.

“It might be for a while as long as the suppliers can keep it manufactured and keep it shipped out to the businesses and us small people we got to do what we got to do in order to keep the doors open,” said Norris.

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