Author Topic: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me  (Read 48005 times)

Offline Roundabouts

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So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« on: June 05, 2011, 09:31:58 PM »
Just got back from a late mini food run 8:pm on a Sun.  As I pulled into the parking lot I got a sense of being empty. Weird but I was so tired from digging all day thought it was me.  Went down the bread isle a few empty spots no big deal.  Dairy empty spots but they had sales going on.  Frozen food isle empty spots and things very low.  Meat dept lower than I have ever seen except after I hit it on a big sale.  Produce dept 25% or more empty and very very low on every thing.  Same canned goods cereal cleaners.  I asked the lady at check out what the deal was and she said we are having big sales and everyone is BarBQing.  The sales were not that good at all so poor in fact I hadn't planned on shopping that store this week.  Nice weather? The ice beer and soda were all normal stocked.   Went to the drug store next door and hmmm their shelves empty too. 

I have been late shopping several times and have never seen either store so low on products.  Maybe on a blue moon for a super sale item but never like it was tonight.  I told my hubby I sure as hell hope this is not a sight we have to get use to.  The only thing different going on here is it didn't rain today and was over 75F.  Of course I guess I could have missed something?   

Any one else have this experience?  OH $3.39 for a head of red lettuce very small and wilted non organic glad I grow my own!!  Over $6.00 for a loaf of decent bread.  Glad I can bake my own.

Offline FromScratchWoman

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 08:09:04 AM »
yes! All of the stores in our area except one has pretty bare shelves rotten over priced produce and cheap bread which is usually .99 is now averaging 1.79$ a block of off brand cheese 18.99 forget about something of quality..the one store that doesn't seem to be affected is an Adventist market and I think it has to do with the fact that they don't sell meat...so they really focus on fresh cheap produce and are a bulk bin type store..

Offline mash

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 09:41:01 AM »
Been noticing the same thing in Aus. The most obvious ones are the little independent Mom-and-Pop stores, looks like the shelves are only 1/2 full most of the time.

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 10:38:12 AM »
So where are you located? I am in the Washington 20min east of Portland oregon

Offline MTUCache

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 10:42:56 AM »
Assuming that you're dealing with the big national chain stores, this may be as simple as when you're going and how their deliveries are scheduled.

It's been more than a decade since I worked at a grocery store (during my high school years), but I distinctly remember around holiday weekends and during the summer that our stock would get drained really quickly and we'd constantly be answering questions about when things would be re-stocked. Since we got our standard grocery deliveries three nights per week (dairy/frozen/produce/bread/chips/pop were separate deliveries) there would generally be at least one evening per week when things were looking very bleak up and down the aisles, as it had been upwards of 48 hours since our last truck.

But, that's not to say these things aren't involved. Just-in-time delivery of goods is dependent on a lot of things going right. Not only does the food have to be ready and available at the right price, the trucks need to be full of diesel and rolling.

Take a few shortages on key ingredients, mix in some high supplier costs and some packaging issues, combine that with diesel prices making trucking less profitable, and you could very easily see some empty shelves on a routine basis.

I can imagine a time in the very near future when people are scheduling their shopping time around when they hear the trucks are bringing the food, with grocery stores scrambling to have enough staff on hand to stock shelves during a few hour rush first thing in the morning before everything is picked over again. Add a forecasted major weather event to that scenario and you're teetering close to food riots without even considering the hyper-inflation angle.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 10:46:37 AM »
I usually shop at the wal-mart super center 20 minutes away because they have the cheapest prices. I only needed a few things yesterday so went to the local foodlion store like 5 minutes away. Wow did I get sticker shock on their food prices. They seemed to have stocked shelves but man were the prices incredibly high. I couldnt afford to shop there regularly.

Offline SuperDuty

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 11:04:49 AM »
I've been shopping loss-leader deals especially hard for several months now.  These are sales that, in my area anyway, are usually on Wednesday's and Thursday's every week.  The ads come out on Tuesday and the sales start the next day.  I thought it was to get people into the stores during that I would expect are traditionally slow business days.  I had been going by after work, at about 5:00 pm and finding a lot of the stuff gone already.  So I started going by on the way in to work instead.  What I found many times when I got there early was that a lot of the retirees were already sitting in the store's cafe's having coffee, and with full bags of the sale deals!  So I think that's where it was going.  :)  That is the report from my area (Kansas City) at least.

Offline FromScratchWoman

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 06:44:12 PM »
{~~ about four hours east of Portland,close to Pendleton..

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 07:38:11 PM »
Here, as of today, the inventory level at my usual grocery store is at its normal level. They do have the occasional item they are short on, but all in all, shelves are full and well stocked.

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2011, 07:50:42 PM »
I notice that here in the heartland dairy and bread shelves go empty much faster and stay at least partially empty longer than I recall seeing in the past. Those are the only shelves/food groups of any concern I've noticed empty or partially empty shelves consistently in the past 6 months.

I have some canned evaporated milk and some powdered milk held back for just such occasions. Additionally, using the canned evaporated milk makes for less expensive coffee creamer than buying the fresh 1/2 & 1/2.

Offline jasperg357

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 08:08:27 PM »
I drive a truck for a living so I do most my shopping at Wal-Marts that allow truck parking. I haven't seen any shortages in the grocery areas but I have seen were the Equate brands and some name brands in there pharmacy sections have been low are out of stock.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2011, 07:47:50 AM »
Our local grocery stores have a couple of different sale schedules, Wednesday to Tuesday, Sunday to Saturday and so on. Usually the first day of the sales is when the most people shop and when food stocks seem to be furthest down. Since they wait until the overnight crew comes in to restock, the first evening of a sale always looks the worst. At 8:00 PM on Sunday, this might be what you are witnessing.

Other than that, our produce is heading into peak season here in this agricultural area (June-September), so we're starting to see the most produce and cheapest prices that we'll see all year.

endurance

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 06:36:06 AM »
I'll have to take a look next time I'm in a grocery store.  I do most of my shopping at Costco and haven't noticed any shortages last time I was there (about five weeks ago).  I guess that's just another benefit of prepping; fewer trips to the grocery store so I have less to things to worry me. ;)

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 01:33:45 PM »
The regular grocery stores around here (Puget Sound area) seem to be business as usual, but it seems like there is always ONE item that is sold out. Recently, it was green tea at Trader Joes.

Offline Cedar

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2011, 02:48:57 PM »
I buy a bunch of my groceries for storing from the Grocery Outlet and although the shelves are full...

Rice is up to $11 for 20#, versus the $6 it was about 8 weeks ago
Milk was $3.09 a gallon for whole and it is usually $1.99
Cheese was about double what I normally pick it up for.

Cedar

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2011, 02:56:45 PM »
You might be seeing several things:
-stores are feeling the pinch and may not be stocking as fully as normal.
-manufacturers have notified of a price increase and stores are letting stock run out so they don't have price conflicts when that happens.
-people in your area aren't buying as much and the store is holding off ordering till things pick up OR they bought more than usual and stock is down.
-there's also the chance that you have just hit the stores in between shopments/after sales or something.

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2011, 05:35:16 PM »
I noticed about 6 months back the local CostCo food area seemed to have most of the upper shelf were bare.
What I think happened was whey were about to do a major shuffle on location of goods & it was a seasonal shift.

About a month later - different location for food & what food items that they were storing.  About 60% of the shelf's were fully stocked.

I will admit it did however spook me a bit, I did check out other stores to make sure it was not wide spread.    I figured I might as well stock up on my favorite items just to cover my bases.




Offline Roundabouts

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2011, 01:53:23 PM »
Have been back to the store a few days ago. There were some empty spots and stock was low on some items. No where near what it was.  A lady I spoke with didn't know why it was so low.  It was very unusual.  I am stepping up preps the best I can it never seems good enough.  hubby still wants to take $2000 out of savings and do a mega trip.  Yes dear I know it is an investment.  Savings is for ER or something that will give us a fast big no risk long term return.  His response MEAT.  I say only if you buy breeding stock.  Will just keep an eye on it and keep buying bits at a time.  Focus on the garden honey add another plot!


Offline loyalty4eva

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2011, 09:12:52 AM »
Well I thought I would jump in here and talk for at least one groc store. Super target is were I work at we do massive sales during the day and litterly can't keep up on stocking during the day because we have fewer employes now with the econmy to do these things that is probebly the biggest reason the shelves are always empty when you go into a place they probebly have the stuff int he back and don't have enough people to look for it or even put it on the shelves some of it could be that the things arn't getting ordered now thats the managers of the stores fault. I recieve and unload trucks in logistics of target and the trucks are getting bigger and bigger each year we are takeing fewer but still about 1 a day for a big super target + vendors that come with their stuff also everyday.

Prices for food are going up and have went up latly as well its funny when you see a sale price on something and a week earlyer their was a tag that said normal price and it was 10cents cheaper then the current sales price. Buy now people!

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2011, 09:56:51 AM »
Some 'shortages' are seasonal. For instance, we have just passed the Independence Day weekend. As you know, many people have cookouts, picnics, etc.

We went to our usual grocery store on Tuesday, July5th. One of the things we wanted was a bag of potato chips. The store has one side of an entire aisle devoted to this type of snack food. There wasn't a chip of any description to be had. Wednesday, the same thing. Finally, on Thursday, the Frito-Lay delivery guy was in, stacking chips as fast as he could with harried look. This was the third day he had been working as fast as he could go to get all of the stores he serviced stocked back up. Being like I am, I said hello to him and asked him how is business? He said, "Too good. I might get everyone caught up by Saturday."

Offline Rhino

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2011, 03:42:52 AM »
I live in Idaho, Boise area and work for a West Coast convenience store distributor. I drive truck for there routes to Oregon, Eugene to Portland and everything in between. I too have noticed that alot of the local store's ie...Walmart have been going thru a drought on the shelves. But funny that the gas station stores are getting heavier and heavier every week. My loads average 30,000 lbs 2 times a week. So why are they buying the more expensive conv. store brands then shopping at walmart or safeway? It is odd, but there seems to be no end to the conv. store loads.

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2011, 11:35:51 AM »
So why are they buying the more expensive conv. store brands then shopping at walmart or safeway? It is odd, but there seems to be no end to the conv. store loads.
Interesting.  I wonder to what degree folks that are just getting by would rather shop on an as-needed basis vs. buying more all at once.

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2011, 11:55:35 AM »
Been noticing the same thing in Aus. The most obvious ones are the little independent Mom-and-Pop stores, looks like the shelves are only 1/2 full most of the time.

Not just the Mom and Pops. Our local Wally World remodeled the food side of the store, and appeared to take out 2 entire row of shelving. Lots more space in the aisles, so you don't have to run a gauntlet around kids, other carts, floor displays, et al. - at least not as badly. But that means they eliminated a huge amount of shelf space, and have cut back on the diversity of brands for any product line as well. It is certainly cheaper to get rid of products or brands that don't sell (for them at least) but it is a cutback too. And even after the change, there are often times openings in the shelves where products used to be.

Offline Rhino

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2011, 03:55:47 PM »
Interesting.  I wonder to what degree folks that are just getting by would rather shop on an as-needed basis vs. buying more all at once.
I don't know, I think it's the europeans that are starting to rub off on us with there shopping habits. LOL! It is interesting. But for the area, it's kind of odd. Oregon usually is stable. But this last 10 months have been very odd.

Offline dani3077

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2011, 10:03:48 AM »
Something to also consider. There is a 'new fad' taking over. Extreme couponing. I am not sure if anyone here has seen the show. (I only watched one episode) Some people are parring up coupons and sales to get items next to nothing-then clearing the shelves. This show started in Sept of 2010. It got really crazy in March/April with several thousand people starting to try this. Some people on the show were getting $2000 worth of stuff for less than $10.

I have been couponing similar to this-coupons, sales, next to nothing prices for about 2 years, but it got really crazy when the show came out. (No I am not one of THOSE extreme couponers)

Also could be change in packaging. Several things that were low or out at my stores have returned with new packages. (less in them too!)

Offline flagtag

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2011, 12:47:49 PM »
I have noticed the reduction of product as well. Example: Ritz crackers - from 4 "tubes" to 3 and fewer crackers in each. 
It will be (already?) happening to everything soon enough.

endurance

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2011, 03:20:53 PM »
I have noticed the reduction of product as well. Example: Ritz crackers - from 4 "tubes" to 3 and fewer crackers in each. 
It will be (already?) happening to everything soon enough.
Yep, my latest package of Fig Newtons was 14 oz. and it's always been 16 oz..  And that's on top of a 25% price increase since 2007. 

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2011, 06:26:48 PM »
A dozen of large eggs went from 1.48 last week to 1.98 this week.

Offline Truik

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2011, 06:46:10 PM »
I have been couponing similar to this-coupons, sales, next to nothing prices for about 2 years, but it got really crazy when the show came out. (No I am not one of THOSE extreme couponers)

I recently caught a marathon run of these "Extreme Couponer" shows and it was impressive how people walked out with hundreds of dollars worth of prep (groceries) for little or nothing.

I'm not an extreme couponer, either...but I wish I WAS!

It did get me to going to coupon.com where I print coupons and also add discounts to my shopper's "rewards" card. You don't have to register the card for it to work and sometimes the added savings really pay off. They had boxes of dog biscuits normally $4.00 on a BOGO (buy-one-get-one free) and I had my card setup with a $1.00 off so I got $8.00 of dog biscuits for $3.00

Unfortunately, it was limit one deal per customer per trip. I meant to go back later that evening (the store is near the house) but they had already sold out!

Should have put the groceries in the truck and went right back in on the earlier trip.




Offline ShannonB

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Re: So how are your grocery stores? Eerie for me
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2011, 07:13:46 PM »
Truik - one thing too, if it is your normal store and you have a fav cashier, ask them if you can do one than one transaction. My local Albertsons only doubles/triples 4 like coupons. If they arent busy and i am not in a rush, the cashier will do two transactions for me so i can buy 8 items instead of 4. Did this last week to get 8 free bottles of dish soap. I love free and if its free, its for me!

I use coupons to stock a LOT of my preps. Especially health and hygein stuff. I just did a quick count last night and we have 185 disposable razors. With 3 of us shaving legs in the house, it will last us a while. I also have 72 toothbrushes, with 4 in our house (2 in braces) that will give us each a new brush every month or i can stretch it to 18 months if we go 6 weeks between changing brushes.  I spent $0.00 for all of these.

I do agree the EC show is helping to clear out shelves in my store. If i know i am going to get a lot of an item, i just ask the store to order it for me, that way others who may not be using coupons like i am can still get what they need. I wont really get concerned about non perishable stuff until they tell me they cant get something.