Tues. Oct. 19, 2021 – gaps in shelves, gaps in preps

Cool, dry, sunny and nice. Like Monday was. This is the great Fall weather we look forward to. I hope we get a bunch more of it.

Spent the day yesterday messing around. My productivity is poor. I did get one sold item packed and shipped. Got a few items listed. Picked up D2 for our afternoon together, and hoped to get just a couple things at the store on the way home, and then work on our shelf painting project.

The store turned into a full grocery run. I went to the “big” HEB in the area. I haven’t been there in a while, and I figured they’d have more choices and stock, and they have some items our “little” store doesn’t carry that I needed. I was wrong.

They did have more choices for some stuff. They carry a large selection of non-alcohol beers and it got even larger. The whole display is 6ft x 6ft, but they cram a lot of choice, if not a lot of actual bottles, into that area. I stocked up on beer that I haven’t had in months. I was also able to get the diet ginger beer I love, and they had 4 six packs on the shelf (in the ‘mixer’ section). It’s imported and always low stock. So that was good and accomplished about 80% of what I went in for.

The other stuff was either targets of opportunity, or “while I’m here I might as well grab another gallon of milk” stuff, except for soda for the kids (and me, diet Dr Pepper is a vice.) Thinking that the big store would have more stock, I was very surprised by the limited choice in the soda aisle. Soup was the same. Few varieties of Campbells, a few varieties of HEB brand, and that was it. The little store had more choices, more brands, and more stock for soda and soup.

There were empty shelves all over the store. Most aisles had at least one section with a couple of empty shelves, about 6ft at a time. I had the noisy and inquisitive child with me so I didn’t deep dive into it, but it was more than normal daily restocking issues. That store is some sort of test bed for corporate. They are always messing with the layout and moving things around. There are always groups of corporate weinies standing in clumps in the aisle armwaving and ‘directing’ something. I was still surprised that they rearranged most of the store, outside of the edges and freezers. The location of 70% of the SKUs must have changed. It was therefore hard to compare with previous trips whether aisles were wider, or number of ‘faces’ for each type of item had changed.

I guess the moral of the story is, we are still seeing shortages of food. There was a store full of food to eat, but there were missing items, and missing categories of items. I can see that expanding very easily. My freezers are full. My wife thinks we have too much food. She doesn’t think the US will ever be generally short of food, SOME kind of food will be available, but she does expect that you might not be able to get exactly what you want when you want it. When I pressed her for WHY she thinks that, she didn’t have a good reason, except essentially, “Murika Yea!” I’ve got LOTS of reasons and arguments to support my point of view on the subject. She just can’t imagine America short of food. My feeling is, it’s happened before, it can happen again. It’s happened elsewhere, it can happen here. I hope I’m wrong. Honestly, I do.

But I’m still gonna stack…

nick