Tri-State shoppers seeing empty shelves from supply shortage

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Since the beginning of the pandemic, the certainty of items being available at the store has been unclear. A year and a half in, and shoppers continue to see this issue locally. Retailers have said they can’t keep their shelves stocked.

“I noticed there’s really low supply of paper towels and toilet paper. And I’m not hoarding, we just needed it and I was like ‘welp!’ So the selection is very limited in there,” said Kim Blankenship who was shopping at the eastside Target.

One woman said Sam’s Club has a sign posted that allows each customer to only buy one package of paper towels and toilet paper, but when she got to the aisle, it was bare. Some shoppers say the food selection has been slim.

“Recently I’ve noticed a lot of pre-made food so everything that’s packaged has had a shortage,” said Kyra Hassman, a Costco shopper.

“You try to go find a specific kind of drink and used to you could find coke zero everywhere, and now you can find it at like one place, like Costco. But more drinks you can’t find places, you have to go to like 3 different stores to get the things on your list to be able to get them,” added Kristen Stout.

In addition to groceries and household items, even furniture stores have been hit with the supply shortage.

Tim Bosler with Ashley Homestore said, “unfortunately there is a good portion of our merchandise that we sell that is delayed anywhere from 2 months to 12 months. And it’s unfortunate, but we just don’t even have a lead time that we can tell consumers that purchase our products. You know, I wish we did.”

One man said he purchased a couch and loveseat in may and he has to wait until November or later for his order to be fulfilled. Bosler added that he has started his holiday shopping now so that his family doesn’t have to worry about low inventory in the winter. Shoppers and retailers both say they don’t see this issue clearing itself up.

“I don’t think it’s going to get any better. I hope it does, but I mean with the current state that the world’s in I just don’t know that we’re gonna start getting any better anytime soon,” added Stout.

Many corporate companies like target and Walmart have been chartering their own ships so they can attempt to get their shelves stocked. Until then, with extra long wait times being anticipated by retailers, they say not to wait until Black Friday or later to get the items you want, but instead get your orders in now.

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