Stocking up on groceries before possible winter weather? Supply chain issues may make it difficult.

ATLANTA — People are heading to the grocery store to stock up ahead of possible winter weather this weekend, but some are finding empty shelves because of supply chain issues.

Channel 2′s Christian Jennings found a pretty good selection at some metro Atlanta grocery stores, but others had empty shelves in the meat, drinks and toilet paper sections.

Grocery stores are already doing their best to keep up with demand thanks to supply chain issues caused by COVID-19, but the possibility for winter weather in parts of north Georgia this weekend is making those issues even more difficult.

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“Right now, we’re seeing extra shortages in grocery stores because of the omicron variant,” Kennesaw State University professor Dr. Christina Scherrer said.

Dr. Scherrer is a supply chain expert. She says she is optimistic that things will improve over the next few months. But she adds that it could get worse before it gets better as people flock to the stores before possible winter storms.

“With winter storms forecast, we tend to see people in the Atlanta area do a little over-purchasing of some staples,” she said.

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A spokesperson for Kroger told Jennings that they are monitoring the weather forecast closely to help ensure high-demand products are available in areas most likely to be hit by a winter storm.

“One bright side is a lot of retailers have been holding extra inventory because of shortages coming, so we may see the stores can do a better job of weathering the coming storms,” Dr. Scherrer said.

Kroger is encouraging shoppers not to panic buy, saying that only makes the problem worse.

Shopper Matt Brown says he’s playing it cool.

“As long as you get enough beer in the fridge to last the weekend, you’ll be ok,” he said.

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The National Grocers Association says some stores have less than 50% of their normal workforce because of the pandemic.