Bread aisle shelves at a Target are seen nearly empty as the U.S.continues to experience supply chain disruptions in Washington on January 9, 2022.REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger
Shoppers are flocking to social media to share pictures of empty grocery store shelves.Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Target, and Giant Foods are among the stores pictured with low inventory.Supply-chain issues were further aggravated this week by the Omicron variant and winter storms.
Shoppers across the country are posting photos of bare shelves at grocery stores including Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Target, and Giant Food.Vegetable and Fruit shelves at the Super Walmart in Spartanburg, South Carolina on January 11, 2022.Courtesy of Dave Danna
Giant Food, a supermarket chain in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, told Insider that retailers are facing “several challenges” impacting inventory and staffing.A chicken display case is seen nearly empty at a Giant Food grocery store in Washington on January 9, 2022.REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger
These include the Omicron variant and last week’s winter storms, both of which caused additional strain to the supply chain, a spokesperson said.Produce shelves at a Giant Food grocery store in Washington on January 9, 2022.REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger
As the highly infection variant spreads across the nation, many retailers face staffing challenges.
Around 200 out of 2,500 Stew Leonard’s employees are out sick across the tri-state area, The Washington Post reported.People take coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests at pop-up testing site in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2021.Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Source: The Washington Post
The shortage of workers across the supply chain means it might take longer for stores to restock shelves and replenish fresh inventory.Meat shelves at the Super Walmart in Spartanburg, South Carolina on January 11, 2022.Courtesy of Dave Danna
The US labor market was already constrained but the rate of transmission of the Omicron variant is making matters worse, Spencer Shute, a consultant at supply chain specialist Proxima, told Insider.Workers across manufacturing, food processing, transportation and distribution, and retail operations are calling in sick, causing delays and shortages.Labor shortages and shipping delays have contributed to a supply shortage for many grocery stores during summer 2021.Tempura via Getty Images
The CEO of Albertsons, the second-largest supermarket chain in the US, said “there are more supply challenges, and we would expect more supply challenges over the next four to six weeks,” on an earnings call Tuesday.Maurice Kennealey puts grocery bags into the trunk of his car January 25, 2005 in the parking lot of an Albertsons grocery store in San Francisco, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Several products were out of stock for months, the CEO added.Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
On top of supply and staffing issues worsened by Omicron, last week’s winter storms delayed many deliveries to grocery stores due to poor road conditions.A winter storm stranded motorists on Interstate 95 in Virginia for more than 18 hours last Monday.Matthew Marchand
Dave Danna, a shopper in Spartanburg, South Carolina, found the produce, meat, and bread shelves at the local Super Walmart mostly bare on Tuesday morning.
Empty shelves at a Super Walmart in Spartanburg, South Carolina on January 11, 2021.Courtesy of Dave Danna
“Ramen, pasta, sugar & oil all looking low,” Danna tweeted.”Juice, canned goods & whatever is normally on that other section also looking a bit bare this morning.” Juice shelves at the Super Walmart in Spartanburg, South Carolina on January 11, 2022.Courtesy of Dave Danna
Other social media users posted photos of poorly stocked grocery stores under the hashtag #bareshelvesbiden, which started trending in October.In response, some users debunked images of empty grocery stores as old, edited or from a different country.Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Joel Ebel shared a photo of empty ice cream shelves at the Walmart in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with the caption: “I wasn’t that worried about the bare shelves thing.
When Wal-Mart had NO FREAKING ICE CREAM!” Empty ice cream shelves in a Colorado Walmart on January 10, 2022.Joel Ebel
Dave Marcotte, a longtime retail and supply chain expert from Kantar Consulting, told Insider that the shortages today are akin to those seen at the height of the pandemic when shoppers were stockpiling.A Super Walmart in Spartanburg, South Carolina on January 11, 2022.Courtesy of Dave Danna
It’s not uncommon to find 12-foot long gaps on shelves in stores at the moment, he said.A Super Walmart in Spartanburg, South Carolina on January 11, 2022.Courtesy of Dave Danna
“Shoppers don’t seem to notice.Or at least if they notice it, they accept it,” he said.
A Super Walmart in Spartanburg, South Carolina on January 11, 2022.Courtesy of Dave Danna
Some experts say the impact of Omicron could be short-lived if it burns itself out faster than other variants.Still, the immediate impact is likely to be severe and it comes at an inopportune moment when the supply chain was finally starting to heal.A shopper at a Washington Target on January 9, 2022.REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger
Source: Insider .
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