What I’m seeing in stores

I’ve spent the last several weeks at work either working hardly any hours, or working strictly in the receiving dept, so I haven’t been able to watch the sales floor the way I usually do. But I’m noticing things anyway.

Cement/concrete mix is still selling out as fast as we can get it into the store.

OSB has dropped back to something close to 2019 prices. My store has plenty in stock, but stores across the country are reporting shortages still.

Halloween decor hasn’t even hit the sales floor yet and people are already buying things to the point of driving them out of stock.

On the pesticides sides of things, Raid spray cans have been sold as larger cans marked “20% extra!!” for a few years new. This year? They just switched them all back to the smaller cans without those markings. For a higher price. Not sure if its a chemical shortage, a metal can shortage, or something else.

Cleaning chemicals are still wonky. We’ll get a case, or a batch of cases, of one product, and then not see it again for weeks and weeks. We have disinfecting wipes in all the major brands though.

So far no real issues with TP or paper towels, but I’m noticing a shortage of overstock too. We’ve been able to keep the shelves full, but we don’t have as much spare as we did.

At the grocery store things are getting interesting again. The last two weeks I ended up in two big grocery stores (one Wegmans, one Tops) and a little locally owned butcher/deli/store.

The deli meats sections were looking a little sparse at Wegmans, but I don’t normally get my lunch meats there so I didn’t stop and browse. The little local deli was looking decidedly empty, they carry almost exclusively Boars Head usually, but this time not only were they short on products, half of what they had were from different brands. They were busy, and the kids working the counter were already overwhelmed with people being pissy because they couldn’t get what they wanted, so I didn’t ask for details. When I stopped in at Tops I noticed that they were also looking short on deli meats, and they had a sign up stating “so sorry for the shortages on Boars Head products”. They didn’t have a line, so I asked the guy cutting my order if they’d had any input on what the supply chain issue was. He said they were being told it was a plastics issue (to wrap the products in to ship to the stores). He also said that there were several Land O’Lakes products that they’d not been able to get consistently for a few weeks too. I can believe there’s a plastics issue. I can also believe there’s an ingredient issue.

Wegmans and Tops have both shrunk their canola oil sections, and neither was full. Since I was shopping both on (separate) Friday afternoons if they COULD have filled them they would have been full then.

Ice cream, especially the individually wrapped “novelties”/servings ice creams, are looking remarkably short stocked and have for weeks at both big stores, and the little local place has also been showing signs of stock problems. I’d originally put it down to the hot weather driving sales, but the shortage has lingered way past the point where that’s a reasonable assumption. Grocery stores thrive on getting stuff like that on the shelves quickly when there’s a run, but gosh this is looking like a precursor to the empty sections of 2020 again. Could be plastics again, most of those products are individually wrapped in thin plastics of some kind.

Vitamins and the like never really recovered, last time I paid attention ALOT of the vitamin powders used come from overseas, especially Asia, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that supply chain never recovered right. Both Wegmans and Tops have recently rearranged their vitamins sections to look less empty, but if you know what you’re looking for they’re still short on alot of things.

Sanitary napkins and supplies are STILL short at both stores. Both have also shrunk and rearranged those sections, and they STILL look half empty.

2 thoughts on “What I’m seeing in stores”

  1. Grocery store shelves are starting to look a bit sparse again at my local grocery store. Pet food, which seemed to make a recovery, is again dwindling in availability – although it is unclear to me whether it is because of actual shortages or shortage of transportation drivers (EVERYONE seems to have ads and signs looking for CDL drivers). The store even had periodic announcements over the intercom that they apologized for selection and they were doing everything they could to make sure “something” was available. Heck, the cream and 1/2 and 1/2 that I favor hasn’t been on the shelves for 2 weeks.

    • If it really is a plastics for packaging issue its going to continue to snowball hard. EVERYTHING uses plastics. And the glass jar industry can NOT make up enough of the slack, they’re already running behind themselves.

      Transportation is short, labor is short, materials are short. One area catches up and another falls behind.

      Article dated two days ago went across my feed yesterday. The Cali ports, that handle container shipping, are so far behind they’ve got record numbers of ships waiting to be unloaded. Its only going to get worse.

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