In reference to my last post on a trip to the city, a long-time reader sent an email detailing her recent shopping experience. She lives in the Silicon Valley area of California, and helps care for her elderly in-laws. Her email is posted with permission.
I went grocery shopping for two households today. I’m terrible at taking photos, so I didn’t take any.
I went to three stores and there was no broccoli in the produce department in any of them, except the pre-washed packaged florets. There was plenty of celery in the first store; it was in its own place AND in the place for the broccoli. Most of the other produce was either very low stock or missing entirely.
There were huge gaps in stocking all over the stores. The packaged meat and poultry refrigerator units were very sparsely populated, and there wasn’t much more in the butcher departments. Dairy had big gaps, and the egg refrigerator units had very little in them. There were only two packages of toilet paper, the four-roll ones, at the first store. There are signs about supply chain issues in the pet supply aisle at the first store, mostly related to the kibble types.
The third store was necessary because Mom asked for bacon and hot dogs. That store was the only one that had them and the stock was definitely low. The aisles that seemed to have the most stock were the sugar cereal, junk food, soda, and liquor. Oh, and store-brand baked goods. That was at Safeway. Of the other two stores, one had plenty of junk food, the other had plenty of liquor (they have an exceptional wine and beer section). One of my friends is making a trip to the local Costco soon. I’ll ask her for a report.
I have noticed over the last few months that the butcher departments at all these stores are shrinking, and the produce departments suddenly have lots of room to move around. The stores appear to be trying to hide the problem with rearranging and removing gondolas/bins/etc., and fronting all the stock regularly. Questions about product availability are met with a blank look and mumbled answers about deliveries. Some customers are starting to get a bit vocal about their displeasure. Prices are going up by leaps and bounds, but most people appear to be more concerned about availability than price (a Silicon Valley thing?).
Mom said that my normally clueless sister-in-law has actually noticed and is quite frightened.
We’re definitely living in “interesting times”! God is sovereign, however.
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