Seeing shortages at the grocery store? Experts say it’s not a city vs. suburb thing

Seeing shortages at the grocery store? Experts say it’s not a city vs. suburb thing

There’s a good chance you are preparing for Thanksgiving and may be comparing supermarkets.

Depending where you live, your store nearby may be well stocked while your friend’s spot has empty shelves.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose has found there are sporadic shortages of some products in metro stores, but not mass shortages.

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A supply chain expert told him it has nothing to with the suburbs or the city, but it boils down to buying patterns.

“It’s pretty much crazy up in there. I just got what I needed and got up out of there,” shopper Lisa Norfles said as she was leaving a metro Kroger store.

Jose found packed parking lots Tuesday at various metro grocery stores as the Thanksgiving rush is underway.

“Did the aisles look well stocked back there?” Jose asked Norfles.

“The aisles are well stocked,” she said.


Stores including Walmart, Kroger and Publix have set purchase limits on several products, including some cleaning supplies, as shoppers are finding empty shelves of toilet paper and paper towels once again.

Supply chain expert Wendy White, with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, told Jose that as COVID-19 cases rise, we’ll likely see more panic buying and sporadic shortages.

“Grocery stores all across the state restock at different times. So if you can’t find one particular item at your local grocery store, there’s a good chance the store down the road has the item in stock,” White said.

“So this has nothing to do with suburbs versus city?” Jose asked White.

“Not necessarily,” White said.

She told Jose that buying patterns fluctuate. Supermarkets have had months to stockpile and receive products at all times of the day.

“The American supply chain is one of the strongest in the world. We have plenty of food. There are no mass shortages of any one particular item,” White said.

Kroger shopper Alvis Edwards told Jose that she got everything she needed on Tuesday, including a turkey.

“(The store was) very organized and they were restocking as I was taking things off,” Edwards said.

Because delivery trucks arrive at stores at various times throughout the day, White said your best bet to find what you’re looking for is to shop first thing in the morning.

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