The Retail Supply Chain Has Inverted – Formerly Efficient Operations Now Least Effective – Small Markets Best Supplied…

CTH is spending time on this issue because the food distribution sector is the most important sector in all commerce. Having some familiarity with the supply chain might help people to understand the challenges; and possibly help you locate product.

The Inversion – Big chain markets; those who spent millions developing their own proprietary ‘just-in-time’ distribution networks and automated ordering systems; are currently the least equipped to deal with the level of demand.  Meanwhile smaller chains, or mom-and-pops, who rely on third-party brokered distribution are faster to respond.

Several factors have increased retail market demand for food products and non-perishables.  People stocking up, kids out of school, some panic shopping (example toilet paper) and now curfews/quarantines have people purchasing more for ‘meals prepared at home’.  Add in a level of closed restaurants and the demand on retail food markets is severely stressed.

In major urban areas the larger retailers are unable to keep up with demand.  This is creating an outward spread as people drive further and further distances to find their needs.  Those who travel a distance ultimately stock-up more; thus the outward spider web-cycle is created.  Based on ground reports Atlanta Georgia is a prime example.

Depending on the distance from the distribution center [SEE HERE] large regional chain outlets are now in a downward inventory spiral without escape.  That is: compared to their needs they are not getting near enough product.  So long as demand continues at a level beyond distribution capacity this will only get worse; especially for those stores more than 50 miles from their distribution hub.

Costco announced Wednesday that it will start to limit certain items members can purchase in response to the surge in business from the coronavirus, though specific items were not outlined. The membership wholesaler also stated it will start limiting the number of members in stores at one time and asked customers to practice social distancing when shopping. (more)

Part of the reason the larger chains like: Safeway, Kroger, Albertsons, Publix, Mejers, etc are in such bad shape is their reliance on thin ‘just-in-time‘ supply chains.  While the proprietary distribution process and JIT is more profitable, it collapses when that distribution needs to triple overnight.  Once a point of extreme diminished inventory is reached, it takes a long time to recover.  That issue is now crossing into Club stores.

If the consumer demand keeps up at the current pace, these larger regional food retailers will not recover; the outflow will always exceed the ability of the inflow to catch up.  They will further reduce operating hours and shoppers will remain frustrated.  Until the demand slows down, they simply cannot catch up.  They are operating beyond capacity.

Meanwhile the smaller area supermarkets (1 to 10 stores), who use much more costly brokerage distribution, are able to get replenished much faster.  Right now they are benefiting from a much more responsive supply chain.  In the long term that will change, but in the current phase those outlets are the best option for a better in-stock position.

A limited number of fixed assets are also a choke-point for larger chains blocking their ability to ship product.  Proprietary tractors, trailers and truck drivers are exhausted and the demand on leased haulers and independents to fill the distribution gap is no-where near enough.  The entire country is currently looking for trucks, trailers (reefer and dry), and drivers to handle the increased logistical demand.

As a direct result, during this phase of extreme demand, the big regional chain stores, who are usually the most efficient, are now the least dependable; particularly if they are far away from their distribution warehouse.  Smaller retail operations are doing much better.

So if you are looking for product and have the time to travel (gas is cheap now too), you might consider these options:  (A) travel to the retail stores closest to the distribution centers for regional/national outlets (should be less than 100 miles).  (B) travel to smaller retailers that don’t have as many stores.  Don’t forget to bring a cooler for perishables.

[However, a note of caution on the “B” option… over time (less than 10 days) they too will lose their ability because the broker distribution network (for independents) will end up in the same position as the larger corporate and regional retailers.]

Hopefully this panic shopping will stop soon.  There is no need for many of these shortages other than the psychology of worry and fear.  The fear is made worse when someone goes to their favorite store and sees aisles of empty shelves… that then creates a psychology to purchase even more… and so it goes.

Hopefully all restaurants will adapt soon, there will be more food options available, and people will settle down from the panic shopping.   The seemingly endless quest for toilet paper is really one of the weirdest shortages.

This too shall pass….

Try to avoid this (crazy video):

This entry was posted in Big Government, Big Stupid Government, CDC, Cold Anger, Coronavirus, Economy, Infectious Disease, media bias, Prepper, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

275 Responses to The Retail Supply Chain Has Inverted – Formerly Efficient Operations Now Least Effective – Small Markets Best Supplied…

  1. snowmaze says:

    I wouldn’t even call it prepping. Prepping is for the long haul. My visit to the store left me in awe. The crap that people purchased. Frozen pizza’s gone. Tp gone, frozen meals gone. meat was limited. What i did find. Plenty of raw and frozen vegetables. Flour, rice, beans, spices, ect… All the things needed to make meals from scratch. The true prepper also purchased shot gun shells and rifle/pistol cartilages. I stocked up on vegies, purchased some chicken and pork. Already had ammo. Still have a good supply of bird food that the deer also find yummy. I moved away from the big city for this sole purpose. So i could sustain myself.

    Liked by 13 people

    • keeler says:

      “Frozen pizza’s gone. Tp gone, frozen meals gone. meat was limited”

      That’s the restaurant market shifting into the grocery market.

      Liked by 13 people

    • mr.piddles says:

      “Plenty of raw and frozen vegetables.”

      Even a Global Pandemic can’t convince folks to eat their Broccoli and Lima Beans. Both of which are very good for you, BTW. Also, if you don’t think you’re a fan of Tofu, my wife has a recipe or two I can share. And Sweet Potato Quesadillas… yummy!

      Liked by 5 people

    • paper doll says:

      I can report all the phony meat was fully stocked! 😂

      Liked by 4 people

    • littlequilterkitty says:

      Wonder why Americans are so sickly? I don’t!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Cliff says:

      I was already prepared. I started stocking up back in January when the first person was diagnosed in Washington state. I already had a year supply of toilet paper, generators, gasoline in jerry cans. I also have 20 and 30 gallon propane tanks so I can cook outside and I installed a steel wood/charcoal grill in my yard a few years back.

      I’m on a well but often lose power so I stocked up on gallon water from the Family Dollar stores around me. I already had rice and pasta, large amount of canned tuna I always eat anyway. I had plenty of canned foods in my basement but bought a bunch of smoked herring for snacks.

      I always get three months of prescriptions at a time, had all my meds refilled last week.

      I have two refrigerators and a smaller chest freezer with fresh meats I froze in the last month and a half. Just replenished what I ate down over the Winter.

      I had purchased a year supply of dog food over the last few months as I was getting low and my 105 pound female German Shepherd has been eyeing me up with a hungry eye.

      Then last week my doctor says my blood test shows I have become diabetic and told me I can’t eat starches or carbs.
      I guess if civilization ends and I lose 50 pounds my diabetes will be cured and I can go back to eating my rice and pasta without worry.

      I have read too many novels involving the breakdown of society, by disease, Electro-Magnetic Pulse events. I live on a small island in the middle of a lake with a causeway that gets covered in deep snow some Winters and power often goes out for days.

      I have a large amount of non-Politically Correct guns and around 40,000 rounds of various ammo. My locale has flocks of wild turkeys, elk herd, plenty of deer and these horrible Canadian Geese that invade my yard every Spring. I can fish from my front yard. I’m not going to go hungry anytime soon.

      My neighbors on the island have already agreed if the food supply ends we will get together and start poaching before we face starvation. I used to tame all the deer that come out to the island. When I would call them they would come from all directions to me from everywhere, even off the island. One time 45 showed up within minutes, some were deer I had never seen before. 15 deer I knew from fawns would come right up to me and lay down beside me when I would sit on the ground.

      Like

  2. Alex Pazzo says:

    Insightful
    Thank you sd

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen Pearson Souza says:

      Just a small tidbit from the bread basket of the world, the San Joaquin Valley. Yesterday several van loads of LA folks drove into Kern County and bought out most of the groceries from small locally owned grocery stores in very rural areas. Buttonwillow, for one and others. I can tell you this, the folks who live rurally like that are truly dependent upon these small grocers because many are elderly and don’t drive to Bakersfield. Now, my guess is that that parking lot will be filled today with folks willing to take on these Los Angelenos. Because we all know they are simply re selling their booty at higher prices in an urban setting. Keep helping your neighbors as we are all doing. But be on the lookout for the bad actors who take advantage .

      Like

  3. Just Steve says:

    My background…28 year truck owner, pulled refrigerated trailers for years, now haul LP, anhydrous and asphalt oil.

    One of the biggest choke points in the grocery distribution system is the grocery warehouse check in system. I’ve had truck loads of meat take 5 hours to deliver and get checked in. Let me explain:

    I hauled Hormel products for 7 years. A trailer load of Hormel can contain upwards of 30-40 different individual items. You can have retail, foodservice and institutional products. I remember one load between the three types I had 18 different kinds of bacon. Now, every item is put on it’s own pallet, and the checker then finds the code, counts the boxes, then has to put a sticker on the shrink wrapped pallet that the forklift driver scans to find where it gets stored, or if they dont have scanning equipment the sticker has the row and bay assignment printed on it. The checker has to then check the item off of the Bill of Lading and his pick list generated by his companies procurement department . A single load can generate 40-60 pallets, even more. This entire process is VERY time consuming. And believe me, you don’t want an OSD, overage, shortage or damage. Now the time goes up even more. The time spent unloading (you don’t get your signed Bill’s until the checker is done) takes away time the driver could be on his way back for another load. The epitome of inefficiency.

    Hopefully grocery warehouses have adopted or in the current situation will adopt count and condition receiving. The product is shipped X number of pallets containing X number of cases, the checker counts the pallets and signs for the product “subject to count and condition”.

    By the way, in our little town if 450 the volunteer fire department will be delivering groceries.

    Liked by 24 people

    • LafnH20 says:

      Just Steve, I hear ya!!!

      Just finished spending 5 hours at a dock to “Load” product. Had to wait (JIT..HA!!) for another truck to arrive and offload the product at the warehouse.
      The product.. “Hand soap” and “Other” sanitation products. (10 pallets/less than 1/2 of the trailer space used.)
      Destination is a D.C. (Distribution Center) for a major retailer.. 1000 miles away.
      🤔

      Once broken down the amounts of any one item going to any individual store will be paltry. (by the looks of the product breakdown)

      Pays good though!!

      Liked by 7 people

    • amwick says:

      TY for explaining… first hand experiences are priceless..

      Liked by 9 people

    • Jeff says:

      God bless the volunteer fire departments of our country. These guys literally put their lives on the line, for no pay. Please support them in any way you can.

      Liked by 9 people

  4. hawkins6 says:

    From Long Happy MAGA Rally lines to Long Corona-apocalypse Grocery Lines in only a few weeks.

    I went to the local grocer yesterday after reading sundance’s insightful restaurant closure theories etc. not to hoard but to look for a few more non perishables in case the Law of Unintended Consequences appears and the Sudden closures cause further panic and systems begin to shut down from overload etc.

    My first stop was the fruit and veggie section and it was quite sparse but the meat section was barren except for a few of the most expensive cuts. A store clerk slowly pushed a cart of goods near me so I asked him what the reason was. The obvious question was worth it because he explained that the latest 2 semis the store had preordered were diverted to stores closer to the main warehouse and with a larger surrounding population base. (One disadvantage for getting away from the city.) The next truck is supposedly arriving on Wednesday but will it. Fortunately, I had listened to the previous warnings about being prepared for an emergency (ie earthquake) where you could be totally on your own for weeks, so I’m stocked up for sometime. Hopefully long enough for sanity to prevail and not unintended and avoidable chaos.

    Liked by 5 people

    • hawkins6 says:

      “…pushed a cart of low demand goods” There was no rush to empty the cart.

      Liked by 2 people

    • YeahYouRight says:

      My hubby works supply chain of a big box retailer, we discussed this very thing. He says big boxes set up DCs nearest their largest volume stores. The truck driving hour limits have been relaxed for now, and there’s always extra drivers hanging at the DCs, who do other jobs like operating forklifts and other equipment, and can be put on the road to keep trucks moving. I thought the low-hanging fruit temptation go keep running short hauls if full trucks seemed likely, he said they would still want to keep lower-volume stores replenished, though they would probably wait to max out trucks going to them. Probably harder to do this for perishables, vs. non-perishables.

      The panic buying and traveling vulture shoppers are certainly an unknown.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sparty says:

    Thanks for writing this! Earlier today my wife bought groceries in her normal fashion. She hit 2 independently owned yet very nice supermarkets very close to our house. Both have deep supply chain roots developed with MI based producers. From beer to coffee roasters to baked goods the works. If it can be sourced in MI the product is prioritized over national brands. My wife could not believe that both markets were quite well stocked across the board with food. Whereas Kroger was struggling. I kept thinking the local network was definitely nimble to find a way to supply the 2 markets. Very glad that is the case.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. BuckNutGuy says:

    Mom always liked to spin the yarn about her Grandmother’s outhouse and the Sears/Montgomery Ward catalog as the best available. I wasn’t ever sure if it was for entertainment or sanitary purposes. So anyway, got a couple of catalogs in the mail yesterday that I am just going to keep handy.

    Liked by 9 people

  7. InAz says:

    When Walmart opened their store in my town the small Mom and Pop stores closed.

    It was sad to see those businesses close. Those stores had much better meat and produce. The owners knew their customers.

    Liked by 11 people

  8. William says:

    Has the garbage man been given any consideration in the current madness? There is bound to be an exponential increase in garbage production.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. solomonpal says:

    The video looks like a Trump rally with shopping carts.

    Liked by 8 people

  10. The American Patriot says:

    MOST IMPORTANTLY:

    “REMAIN TOTALLY CALM AND COLLECTIVE!’

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Redhotrugmama says:

    The Costco video above was taken at my local Costco. It has been like that daily for 2 weeks now including Sundays. I drove by Sunday am at 6:30 and they were lined up all the way to the Los Alamitos race track. And to answer questions and statments about some shoppers looking like deplorables you would be correct. Our small town here in OC is rather pink. Its why Hobby Lobby opened here 2 years ago. The stocks in our stores are horrible. I need rice for family and none to be found in a 5 mile radius:(

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Kaco says:

    When I went to one of the local Aldi to get some things Friday and saw it was cleared out in mostly fresh meat and bread, also the ramen boxes I had intended to buy because we were actually out. I heard then how Walmart was cleared out. I went to a couple local grocers that were on my list and although some things like the bread aisle and wipes section were depleted, it didn’t look so crazy.

    I think people are going to the big box stock up stores and not hitting the smaller chains. I went back today to Marc’s to get the Nickle’s bread and picked up some other things and it looks pretty well stocked there but this was before people were getting off work. I didn’t go to Buehler’s but that would be my next bet for stuff like meat and fresh produce.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dginga says:

      I was at WalMart today and noticed a man load up two shopping carts with gallons of milk – regular, 2% and Skimmed. Then he took another cart to the bread aisle and completely loaded that cart to overflowing. I walked by him later in the parking lot and asked him if he was running a day care or something. He said he owned a small grocery store in Atlanta and he can’t keep milk and bread in stock.

      Liked by 7 people

      • X XYZ says:

        I wonder what his profit margin and mark-up price is for re-sale?

        If he doesn’t sell it all and the rest of it becomes spoiled, where does it go then?

        America: Greed is only one dimension of our culture. Being stupidly wasteful, and wastefully stupid is even more a part of our daily experience. Sad, indeed.

        Liked by 3 people

        • davida ross says:

          Gosh, thats a bit harsh.

          If his store is selling out of certain goods, and to serve his customers he’s running around on his own time to find and buy the perishable goods people want, plus taking on the risk of their going bad (therefore unsellable = a loss to him) – I think he sounds more like a great part of his community.

          We don’t know if he’s gouging so why say it? In fact, for anyone running a small local store, it would not be in their best interest to gouge anyway. After the epidemic passes customers will never forget the gougers. They will shop elsewhere. That’s what great about communities. Actions have consequences.

          Like

          • X XYZ says:

            Davida,
            You sound young, and kind, and gentle. That’s very nice.

            I speak harshly, as you noticed. I am old, harsh, cruel, mean spirited, punitive, and cranky, to name just a few of my attractive qualities. Those of us who are conservatives are familiar with all of them.

            I am a CONSERVATIVE. If and when you become older, and you might become a conservative, you might understand that those attributes come with the territory – that of being of a conservative mindset.

            Conservatism. It’s more than just… ______ (fill in the blank).

            Like

        • YeahYouRight says:

          Come on. He’s probably trying to supply his geographically close customers who depend on him and probably don’t have cars to drive all over metro Atlanta looking for these goods.

          Like

          • X XYZ says:

            Let’s assume you are correct in your assumptions.
            Now let’s ask, why they are dependent upon HIM?
            If his dependent customers live (as you say) in “metro Atlanta”, do they not have public transportation there?

            “Come on.”
            That sounds familiar. Why does that phrase remind me of the parlance of Joe Biden?

            Like

  13. Heine Ootenvault says:

    I just left a Lunardi’s store in Danville, CA. No panic, plenty of meat and vegetables. Only aisle picked over was canned soups. Seemed like a normal day.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. cherokeepeople says:

    i was in my local fareway store today.my neighbor works there.she said they had a full shelf of tp at 8 when they opened and it was gone by 8:30 at 1 per customer.she also said that the numbers of people and amount of stuff in the carts has gone down about 30 % from last fri-sat which she said were the busiest most hectic days in her 20 years there.so i think we might have crested the top of the curve.
    my town in n.w. iowa also has a hy-vee dist center that covers northern iowa and parts of s.dakota nebraska and minn up to the twin cities.might make a trip into the hy-vee store in the morning to see how the shelves look.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. bearsgrrr says:

    Is POTUS having a rally at Costco? 😄Only reason I can think of to explain that line.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Conservative_302 says:

      I love our president. I think he is doing a fantastic job. He and we are learning as we go. What makes him so great is that he will make changes so our preparedness and supply chains. He doesn’t back off calling it the China virus which it is. He is a fighter. My love and support just grows stronger everyday. What the leftist media machine will never ask is why was America so u prepared? We have been through viruses before. Answer is that we had establishment presidents of the grift who were only concerned about money and power, certainly not the American people or a plan from the last virus would have been in place that Trump could have followed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It doesn’t matter how great Trump is, when a majority of citizens are literally brain dead sheep believing anything that the MSM tells them, things like this will happen. This is just the results of decades of godlessness and public school propaganda. Thomas Jefferson said, “When we become piled upon as they are in Europe, we will become as corrupt as they are.” Most of this stupidity always starts in cities then spreads outward.

        Like

  16. Paul B. says:

    > So long as demand continues at a level beyond distribution capacity this will only get worse; especially for those stores more than 50 miles from their distribution hub.

    I’m not sure why it would. How much TP can a person use? The only possibility I can see is that fewer workers will be available to create, distribute, and sell goods. But other than a wrinkle here or there, I would expect supply and demand to come into balance once again, as the current impulse function wanes, which it should unless we get simultaneously hit with some other major catastrophe.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Somebody's Gramma says:

      I frightfully agree with Sundance. It’s gonna be a rough ride for awhile, hence today’s liquidity and promise of help to everyone. With 330M people (or thereabouts) who normally buy only a week’s worth at a time, are now buying up for months, I can see how we are in a bit of a downward spiral – supply chain wise. About the time the virus washes its way through, say June/July, that’s when I see things easing up. August? So far, each day we have a new revelation of how bad the situation seems, Trump comes out the next day with a plan to meet the problems. So far, I’m optimistic that this IS going to pass. Sadly, people in the communist states (you know who you are), are going to have to suck up the loss of civil liberties for the time being. Maybe they’ll be inspired to move to a Red State and start really living or kick all the commies out of office (here’s looking at you Gavin Newsom). And yes, I do fully blame the Media, and the Globalists for the panic. I’ve never seen a President work so hard. Ever.
      But, who am I? Just Somebody’s Gramma.
      #Trump4Rushmore

      Liked by 9 people

    • sundance says:

      Paul, it’s like this:

      Start with 10,000 case inventory.
      Day One, sell 3,000 [net 7]
      Day two, receive 2,000 (distribution max) sell 3,000 [On Hand 6]
      Day three, receive 2,000 (distribution max) sell 3,000 [OH 5]
      Day four, receive 2,000 (distribution max) sell 3,000 [OH 4]
      Day five, receive 2,000 (dist max), sell 2,500 [OH 3.5]
      Day six, receive 2,000 (dist max), sell 2,500 [OH 3]

      And so on…. and so on…. Eventually you can only sell 100% of what you receive (2k) and are never able to recover to the original 10k until the cycle stops.

      Liked by 6 people

      • majorkalhoun says:

        And then rationing on a nationwide scale begins, for all but the rich and the well connected. Welcome to Communism. This is how they manage their populace. We brought this on ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

    • WSB says:

      Many people like to scalp products. Nuf said.

      Like

  17. Kaco says:

    Why would you even bother to stand in that line and think anything would be left?

    Liked by 7 people

  18. bkrg2 says:

    Sundance explaination holds true for my grocery stores in Homer Glen, IL

    Went today to try and find milk:
    Meijer – still out since at least Saturday evening (see my ground report for more details)
    Jewel (Kroger) – much better supply than Meijer, but still out of milk (and TP of course)
    Pete’s – local grocer with supplies of almost everything (except TP) – was able to get milk!

    Liked by 3 people

    • WSB says:

      CVS sells milk, as well as Dollar General and gas stations. Maybe try them if in your area?

      Blessings!

      Liked by 2 people

      • bkrg2 says:

        thank you – Im good for a couple weeks now. hopefully supplies in stores will stabilize soon, but i don’t see the panic and closures ending soon.

        I think milk can be frozen for storage. Otherwise, we might be using powder milk in coming weeks 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Loren says:

    I hope no one takes this as bragging, but I only go to a food market every 4/5 months. I have literally had a Costco membership expire and gone to Costco to be told the membership expire three years ago.
    My area of life is a County with in a State, the county is as large as some States and the population is a little over 8000. The largest city that has a Costco or big BOX is over two hours and the city population is a little over 90,000 (in another county).
    My chest freezer is full of beef chicken and pork, which is slaughtered and sold by local ranchers. We can and preserve our garden. In other words the pantry is full and will be at the end of the world.
    I’m not bragging, it is being prudent, living a life of being prepared. Because life is what it is, and where i live its a must live somewhere else or die.

    Liked by 14 people

    • Somebody's Gramma says:

      We were on the same wavelength!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Deb says:

      Sounds like Montana. My husband grew up there. He called to check on his parents, they said their cellar is stocked up like it always is and they will be fine.

      One thing I miss about living in rural areas, people have common sense. You have to develop common sense or you die.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t live out west but I’ve always lived as you described. Grew up Amish and have never not had a garden or home canned jars on the pantry shelf. Stock up on paper products about once a year at Sam’s or Costco and that is just the way we roll. We buy wheat berries by the 50 lb bag and either burr grind or flail grind (depends on how fine we want it) our own flour. Have our own bee’s for honey and I could go on and on but it’s just the way we’ve always done it around here. I’ve never been able to figure out how people make it by going to the store all the time for simple fundamental products that they use every day. I don’t know anyone who’s ever said, ya know, I’m gonna stop wiping my butt cause I’m tired of buying TP! The stuff doesn’t spoil, for pity’s sake! We simply have about 50% of our population with zero common sense and they’re not going to get any smarter. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Somebody's Gramma says:

    This is probably going to fall on deaf ears, especially for those locked into deeply urban areas, but you need to get online and start searching for local farmers and ranchers. Not all have an online presence. So, search for a Feed Store, even if it’s 100 miles away, just call and ask if they know of any local farmers/ranchers with produce, meat, milk, etc. It will be work to find these people, but local farmers and ranchers would probably love your business. CALL. DO NOT JUST SHOW UP or you might end up at the wrong end of a barrel. Leave a lovely positive message. And after the panic is over, CONTINUE to support your local farmers and ranchers. Their food ain’t as cheap as in the grocery store, but I’m positive the quality is over the top and worthy of the asking price. I contacted my local rancher and put in an order for pork and chicken. I was showered with thank you’s. As well, they have a Jersey cow who will be in milk soon. I expressed my desire for a weekly drop off of milk, from which I will make cheeses, creme fresh (sour cream), yogurt, butter, etc. It is in times like these that having a RELATIONSHIP with your local farmer or rancher will give you access to resources others do not have. Just throwing it out there y’all.
    P.S. Please plant a garden this spring.

    Liked by 14 people

    • Ellie says:

      No deaf ears here! Excellent advice!

      Liked by 2 people

    • littlequilterkitty says:

      Excellent advice! I’d like to add, that as a new bride nearly 30 years ago, I learned to bake bread for my DH. So glad that I did! I grind our grain ( love Khorasan wheat, aka “Kamut”) in our K-Tec kitchen mill, then mix and knead it in our Bosch Mixer. Makes four large loaves at a time. Just baked again last Friday and as a side benefit, it makes the house smell wonderful! Recently, I’ve learned to make French bread, using a special made pan by Chicago Metallics(American made!) to do two loaves at a time. It is so worth the effort!

      Liked by 3 people

  21. jeans2nd says:

    You very briefly touched on one of the most important precursors to all this replenishing – our gas suppliers.

    Without our gas guys, the gas producers, no truck rolls. No shopper travels farther out to look for needs.
    Without our gas guys, we’re back to Mad Max territory.

    Remember this when you go to the polls – those two geriatric Communists who self-identify as Democrats plan to shut all our gas production down Day 1 of their term.
    To quote Joseph Biden “Period.”

    After you hug your local trucker and buy his/her lunch, thank your gas guys after your fill up.

    Liked by 9 people

  22. sunnydaze says:

    Who in their right mind would even *bother* getting into that Costco line in that top tweet?

    Hard to believe there’s gonna be anything left to eat once they get in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Richie says:

    My neighborhood in Calif already looked like Wuhan China before the virus. All the one sided trade deals made many of them wealthy and it seems like they all decided to move here with all that cash while maintaining their bread and butter operations in China. If only you could see how bad it is now.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. steph_gray says:

    I like sundance’s idea of trying smaller chains. Tonight’s research for me was, therefore, was looking up the number of stores in each of the chains I am familiar with and have visited multiple times now in searches for needed items.

    It dawned on me that there was one market in a neighboring town I haven’t tried which turns out to be a very small chain – only 7 stores, locally owned. I’ll be trying that one later in the week and will report whether they (gasp) have any toilet paper!

    Also, Stop & Shop just announced a 60+ opening period each day of 6 to 7:30 am. I hope they stock some t.p. the night before. I still have some but it’s dwindling daily.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda K. says:

      I live in a small town in northern California. There is a Safeway, a family owned market, a small chain grocery and a 7-ll. I shop the family owned small store lately and I even got corned beef for today! I haven’t been in Safeway for a couple of days but the t.p. seems hard hit and we just got an emergency shelter in place for Sonoma, Ca. on the answering machine to last until April 7.
      I assume I can still go out for food and I have to help my mom out daily at her place as well. I plan to work on my yard and clean the house up and down and read.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Little Berkeley Conservative says:

        You can definitely visit mom!

        My mom is in assisted living and they are on lock down. They wouldn’t let me in, but delivered the essential, American made vodka to her. If she had one of the exterior units, they would have let me pass it to her and talk.

        Most places were open for business and I’ve never seen more people out walking their dogs ever.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Chad C. Mulligan says:

      I’d just as soon Sundance had shut up about that. Living in a rural Appalachian location, the small chains are all we’ve got, and having urban locusts drive in and sweep the shelves clean hurts us a lot.

      Like

  25. namberak says:

    Sorry for the discursion but I thought I’d relay a laugh from this afternoon. At some point my bride and I were talking about our supply situation and decided we were OK but she mentioned that the one thing we could have some more of, which she hadn’t seen in nearby markets was, ground beef. As it happens, our youngest is a store manager for probably the best known retail operation in the world, in a small town 50 miles from us. I replied, “Send Joe a text and ask him if he’d trade some ground beef for toilet paper. We’re in good shape on the TP.” 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  26. T2020 says:

    Good article. Amazon Fresh couldn’t handle the demand. I haven’t been able to buy from them for almost a week. Local markets have items restocked the next day.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. One of the unintended consequences I heard today was a long haul truck driver highlighting the problems of some states shutting down everything. Some states are closing roadside rest stops, nowhere to use the restroom or sleep during required non-driving time. Nowhere to eat, truck stops with restaurants closed and don’t have drive-thru take-out. Almost NO fast food restaurants allow individuals to walk up to their drive-thru windows (semi’s don’t fit) for safety purposes and you can’t go in and order or use the bathroom. I am sure there are many more instances of unintended consequences we will realize as we all go through this.

    Liked by 7 people

  28. sundance says:

    As anticipated, stores further restrict hours….

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Rah says:

    The proposal to pay sick leave for whatever period will hurt also. A significant percentage of drivers and workers in the logistic chain will take immediate advantage of it and treat it as a paid vacation.

    Please forgive me if this has already been pointed out. Am laying in the sleeper waiting for this medical supply mfg to finish loading our refer with reagents and slides in the front and crated lab equipment in the back. Two heating/cooling units on this trailer. Freight we’re going to haul has nothing to do with current emergecy, but apparently they’re running behind because of it.

    BTW, for future reference, the nomenclature for a standard non refer trailer is “dry van”.

    I normally don’t post when teaming because we’re always moving. Tough to work text on a phone jostling around in a rolling big truck.

    This load we’re waiting on here in Tucson, AZ delivers to the huge Roche Labs complex in Indianapolis, IN.

    Liked by 5 people

  30. Dawna says:

    Thank you. This explains why our Walmart still is empty (although partly snow storm keep trucks from coming from Nevada this past weekend -meat and milk)
    And why the little IGA store in town and SMart was able to restock a bit. No bread or TP though.

    Like

  31. James Street says:

    One problem is the grocery stores start slowly restocking their shelves when the media does a new cycle of crisis headlines causing people to panic buy all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. auntiefran413 says:

    Well, dawgonnit, Sundance! Now I know why our local markets are thriving. St. Louis is home to two LOCAL chains so successful that the Publix/Albertson’s, et al chains know they don’t have a chance here. Dierberg’s (my favorite) operates 25 storess in Missouri and Illinois. Schnuck’s (they’re good, too) has 112 stores in five states I’ve only been to Schnuck’s in the past week, but my daughter went to Dierberg’s this evening. Except for larger crowds of shoppers, the stores seem to be fully stocked. Yes, we have Walmarts, Costco, and Sam’s but I but only two things at Walmart, then leave; I have a Sam’s membership and buy two to four things there. If I bought only house brand probiotics at Sam’s that would more than pay for my membership. Thank heaven for local chains!

    Liked by 2 people

    • sundance says:

      What you describe (25 stores) is the perfect regional supermarket chain. They are large enough to warehouse their own needs, and small enough not to have started the expensive auto-replenishment system (thin supply chain). Therefore they are immediately responsive, even during a crisis.

      [I also absolutely agree that type of operation can fend off any competition]

      Liked by 4 people

  33. treehouseron says:

    I work late, I drove by Publix which closes at 11p.m. and they were closed at 9:45. I then drove to Harris Teeter which is open all night and they were closed at 10:15. So then I drove to the gas station and bought a few drinks.

    I’m not out of food or anything but this closing early crap doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I’ve worked as a clerk for 21 years at a major Northern California supermarket. I’m following Sundance’s take and bloggers responses on this with keen interest. My store is part of a chain of family owned and operated stores with its own warehouse and trucks. Our distribution center and employees are struggling to keep up with demand. I was working last Friday when the rush began. That’s the day President Trump announced a national emergency. The following day, on Saturday, it was a mad house. All paper products and sanitation products gone. I’ve never seen anything like it, even on a holiday. All fresh chicken gone. Spaghetti sauces, soups, pasta gone. Produce ran out of potatoes and bananas. I could go on. On Saturday morning – early – our meat department restocked the chicken early. They did tremendous job but by early Saturday night, chicken had disappeared. The following day, on Sunday, our “load” – pallets of new products – was delayed by several hours. The night crew who nightly restocks the shelves had no product. The load arrived at 9 a.m. on Sunday. So, without the night crew, our managers and anyone available got to work. Including our district manager who was on his knees restocking sauces. Toilet paper arrived and was gone within 1 hour. In short, my colleagues are working 12 hour days – exhausted – and doing whatever they can to help people meet their needs. WE ARE ON THE FRONTLINES. Possibly exposing ourselves to this virus on behalf of everyone who needs food and necessities. No working at home for us. We’re doing our best with what we have to work with. I’m observing this on a daily basis. It seems that we’re being taken for granted, just like the farmers. And, unlike many, we have no where to run and hide (home confinement) if we want to keep our jobs. So please, next time you’re in a food store or supermarket, please take a moment to thank those who are on the front lines. It will keep us going.

    Liked by 4 people

    • steph_gray says:

      You got it! I’ve been chatting and joking with and thanking every one I encounter. It’s the least we can do!

      And another thanks for you.

      Like

  35. Perot Conservative says:

    I haven’t hit panic mode yet, but about 10 attempts to buy TP have failed. I was the non panic person, one day a budget store had plenty of TP … the next, none.

    Walmart Supercenter produce department, empty at 4 PM.

    Today I treated a work colleague to the legendary Falafel Drive In. Take out. Small businesses need us.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Pingback: Food Distribution Network Under Stress – Small Dead Animals

  37. distracted2 says:

    I’m in a small to medium market in CA. ALL of our stores are bare. Today I went to Vons, which is owned by Safeway and is generally more expensive than big box stores. It was unlike anything I’ve seen before. All of the most essential items were gone.

    This was the fourth trip I’ve made during the past two weeks and there still wasn’t any TP.

    What was completely gone: Bread, milk, meat, eggs, water, all pasta and sauces, tuna, toilet paper and paper towels.

    What was nearly gone: Frozen food, detergent, trash bag and other dairy items. The frozen food that was left were items that would be slow sellers on a good day but the vast majority was wiped out.

    I spoke to a friend who had been to the box stores and they were all in the same shape.

    Like

  38. cheering4america says:

    That top video looked a little like those videos of people waiting in line for a Trump Rally!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Sherri Young says:

    A carload of TP is beginning to seem restrained.

    Like

  40. Conservative_302 says:

    I am going to share 2 great links. I was looking for new family room furniture before the virus was known, and the Hooker furniture I wanted to order was on back order. Their stuff is made in Vietnam. I called Hooker, and due to the virus, they don’t know when the next shipment will get to the states. I searched like crazy, and found a wonderful American leather furniture maker and dealer. The quality of Classic Leather is top of the line, and the prices were less than I expected. Dealer is out of NC like the old days. The salesman was super friendly. Everything about this purchase makes me feel good. I love my country.
    https://www.hickorypark.com/
    https://classic-leather.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  41. majorkalhoun says:

    Sam’s Club was promoting hoarding when we were there. They put up a sign that says two packs of toilet paper then did NOTHING to enforce it. Who needs 96 rolls of toilet paper other than a hoarder, let alone double that.

    Needless to say, they burned through seven truckloads in one hour. We were there at 10 am and they were out. We have become Venezuela, accepting that hoarding is okay. We are a society of mentally ill people, Demo☭rats who embrace the Communist social structure. This is the inevitable outcome, being manipulated by the media and controlled by the rich, who use government as their tool to impose their will upon us.

    The Coronavirus is a minor bug, yet it has us behaving like animals trapped in a cage. What next, food shortages and wiped out food supplies? Communism is a blight upon humanity, bringing out the worst in government and society. People who vote to support Demo☭rats are heartless.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Theckman says:

    Agree that small local food stores is the way to go.
    Lines at Costco and SAMs in West Michigan have been going on since Friday with TP unavailable in large grocery stores since.
    The smaller local grocery chains minimal if your lucky. We stocked very well using a local Dollar General.
    Now we are TP (husband and I) are supplying it to our under prepared adult children and elderly mother. Daughter resides in Miami and reports she and multiple friends can not find any.
    Sister in San Fran found 8 pack roll at Staples.
    My 27 year old daughter was never happier to receive a supply which she said she was sharing with several friends that were also using napkins or tissue.
    The reason many are out is because they had very little to begin with and then people are overbuying, but, a limit is a good idea. The stores love this Ground beef, milk, hand sanitizer and TP remain depleted. I have what we need and refuse to hunt for anything that an alternative can’t be used. Besides the TP that we stocked up on.
    Local farmers market opens in early June. We reside just a few miles from app,e orchards , blueberry and strawberry farms. Local farmers provide meat and milk.
    Love the idea of contacting a few and plan on getting milk, eggs, meat from them from now on.
    We should have been doing that all along. There’s a local cheese and beef market here as well that’s pricier, but for holidays we always used. It’s affordable and so much better.
    Once you switch it becomes a habit for many.
    I will do it out of loyalty, but it will be more nutritious and I should have been supporting the local farmers a long time ago!
    We can pick our own apples, blueberries (four times the size of grocers and much better tasting) strawberries at some local farms and pay even less. My grandson enjoys it and it should not just be a novelty. I am ashamed I didn’t embrace it until now.

    Like

  43. OldParatrooper says:

    Visited my local grocery store yesterday, and the bread aisle was empty. There were also gaps in the canned vegetable shelves, but they still had stock. As a family we have two who fit the most vulnerable category, so will limit out excursions off the property as much as possible. We have plenty of canned goods to keep us going until the garden starts producing. I pity those who still live in the big cities.

    Like

  44. Theckman says:

    I was sending my daughter a gift anyway.
    I have relatives in medical field including my daughter who will be in and out of hospitals.
    Reports that the nurses are already being told in large hospitals they will transition off their specialty floors and working with Coronavirus patients they are projecting to start filling beds.
    My concern about Coumo’s request for retired doctors and nurses to volunteer is they are more vulnerable if they get sick.
    If the spreads as easily as reported, it’s more of a question of when many people get exposed.
    My husband continues to work with interaction with the public and I continue to have contact with him. It’s not realistic to believe we will not expose each other.
    Elderly mother I believe should stay more isolated since she has underlying issues.
    I do believe democrats can’t blane Trump when they promoted sanctuary cities (we reside in one) and have ignored their districts with large homeless populations.
    That will clearly be one an issue.
    If medical supplies become scare and illegal aliens that have come here, in the last several years when it’s been made clear the United States has borders and immigration laws that must be followed I will not be happy if my elderly mother who worked hard all her life is turned away from a hospital because they have no ventilators.
    I know it sounds cruel to say my mother deserves medical treatment over another human being, however, what I am really saying is this should not even be a hypothetical.
    I have met many people from other countries that are wonderful people that have enriched my life. I just ask that everyone needs to follow the laws in this country. Lit may be difficult to become a citizen, but, the ones I know that have done it legally don’t take it for granted and love this country.
    I don’t ake for granted the opportunities this country has given me and my adult children.
    I just ask that everyone has to follow the laws , so when a census like the one I received can be filled out honestly!!!
    That’s obviously not going to happen in Michigan or any sanctuary city!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Theckman says:

    Many of those people are shopping for the elderly. It is unfortunate if the ones relying on the local stores can not get their supplies , however stores need to limit shoppers.
    Also consider the large picture. Many people trying alternative small businesses will continue to support these local stores when this crisis has stabilized.
    That’s an unintended consequence which will benefit local businesses in many instances.
    It’s defintely an unintended consequence.
    Ordering groceries will be another and I wouldmuch rather see people buying local
    Y then ordering from Amazon!!

    Like

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