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economics Economy The Collapse

Shortages

In a comment to a recent post on signs of the collapse, HomePlace asks:

When I see reports of shortages from what I believe are credible sources, I’ve been making sorties to see what I see locally. These trips in the last several weeks have been limited to grocery and home improvement stores. I haven’t seen evidence yet here in the midwest of shortages. Are shortages regional at this point? Thoughts, theories?

There are shortages, but they are being stealthy about it. My local grocery store isn’t doing anything so obvious as to leave shelves bare. A great example:
The canned soup section was most of one side of an entire aisle just before COVID began. Now the selection is much smaller, and the soup section has shrunk down to less than half the size that it was. The produce doesn’t look as good as it used to- more blemishes, more wilting on the leafy greens, that sort of thing. There are other signs, let’s take a look:

4 replies on “Shortages”

I’ve noticed that the grocery store has less depth. It used to be that canned tomatoes would be 4 cans frontage with 6 cans deep. I’m seeing 3 cans frontage with spacing between them and only 2 rows deep. So 6 cans where there was 24 cans.

Also odd brands showing up. So rather than carnation condensed milk its Blue Label brand and instead of name brand pancake syrup its sone beand from the czech republic… which has very nice glass bottles.

As a former “stocker” (HS, 70s), we were taught to “front the shelf” – means keeping all the product upfront, so as noted by Exile, less cans in depth.

Also look at the floors. If you see old marks where the shelving used to be, it means they’ve subtly widened the aisles. The Walmarts around here have pulled all the tile up and leaving as concrete floors – there seems to be wider aisles.

I went to my Kroger’s three days ago, no head lettuce to be had, only in the more expensive already prepared containers. Went to a larger Kroger’s, they had small, lightweight, deformed heads of lettuce. And it cost 50% more than a few weeks ago.

Our local grocery store is having shortages in most departments but they learned from the early times of the panic not to have empty shelves.

There is a lack of brand choices in some products. They hide this by spreading the brands they do have wider. Where the house brand soups use to be 3ft wide and 6 cans deep it is now 12ft wide and only one deep.

TP is one of those things. Bacon has gone from $4 to $8 if they have it.

It is uncomfortable for us as it is an indicator of supply chain issues.

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