If you’ve paid attention to the headlines during the past few weeks, you might have noticed multiple articles referencing expected supply chain interruptions. There are many issues swirling right now that, together, have the potential to affect and worsen supply chains and stores’ stock.
Our country still is dealing with delays from overseas suppliers because of the pandemic, and these delays are expected to continue. In August of this year, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “If you want to have Christmas toys for your children it might be the time to start buying them because the delay may be many, many months.”
Additionally, COVID vaccine mandates also are affecting supply chains. With the government mandating that companies with more than 100 workers get the vaccine, a percentage of the workforce is expected to exit their current jobs. Around the world, truck drivers have been “slow-rolling” or holding strikes related to these mandates, which also will affect what we see on our stores’ shelves.
I’ll share a couple of anecdotes I’ve experienced recently. On a busy evening, I ran to my closest supermarket to pick up a rotisserie chicken. The display was empty, so I walked to the deli counter to see when the next batch of chickens would be available. The clerk at the counter motioned to the empty rotisserie machines and said, “We haven’t had chickens in days. The trucks just aren’t coming. It’s not the only thing either.” He motioned to a wall of produce that previously held bagged salads and lettuce. That wall also was empty.
I drove to the next grocery store. They, too, were very short on rotisserie chickens, but they did have three in the heated case. Unfortunately, the store also had doubled the price to $10 each when they were previously $5 each. I asked the clerk why the price had gone up so much, and he, too, said they hadn’t gotten whole chickens in days, only were cooking a few each day and hoped to get more chickens in soon.
The second, strange supply chain interruption I noticed started at the dollar store. In the summertime, I use a specific style of plastic hair clip. I wanted to purchase some more, and I usually have been able to find them at the dollar store. I went to a local store, and there were no hair clips of any kind in the aisle. Additionally, there were two entire aisles of the store that were empty. The dollar store clerk told me they had been having trouble getting stock in.
Afterward, I headed to two different drugstores before I finally found one lone hairclip hanging on a rack.
These incidents helped me to realize supply chain interruptions even were affecting my small town’s stores.