Friday, February 4, 2022

Store Shelves Update

 By Tim Gamble

This morning, I went shopping at Walmart and at a local grocery store. Shelves at both stores were noticeably better stocked than they have been since before Christmas. Yet, there were still some empty shelves and obvious areas where stock was thin. 

At Walmart, the aisles for candy, chips, and other snack foods were still thin, with a number of empty spots. Mac & cheese and other dried pastas were also far from fully stocked with lots of empty shelf space, as were the canned meats. There were no Great Value cream cheeses on the shelf, and only a few of the name brands. The cases for fresh meats are still not fully stocked, but are better than they have been in recent weeks. Frozen vegetables seem to be close to fully stocked once again, but frozen dinners, entrees, and even pizza are still about half-empty. 

There were still empty spots in the health & beauty aisles. They were out of one of the vitamins I wanted to buy today. Walking by the shoe department, the shelves were still more than half-empty. Pet food is still less than half-stocked, and they were out of the brand I get my dog. 

At my local grocery store, it was a very similar situation. Shelves are fuller than they have been, but still plenty of empty spots. Mostly the same spots that were empty at Walmart. Plus, I did notice the salad dressings and some cereals were quite low. 

Please don't take the currently improving situation to mean that the supply-chain crisis is over. Far from it, the problems that caused the situation are still there, and haven't really been addressed by governments or businesses. And with several possible wars looming (Russia-Ukraine, China-Taiwan, Israel-Iran) and other geopolitical problems, things are not returning to normal anytime soon. 

The supply-chain situation will continue to vary from week-to-week. Wise people will use the good weeks to stock up on those things that you need but have trouble finding on the bad weeks. Foolish people will use the good weeks to pretend the crisis is over. 

See Also:  Surviving A Long-Term Supply Chain Crisis 

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