We are living in interesting, if not alarming times. Supply chains world wide have been disrupted. At any given time one isle or another is lean of inventory and has been since the middle of 2020. How are retailers dealing with the problem?
I’m offering some anecdotal observations from our last two or three trips to Walmart.
During our last few trips to Walmart we noticed that they were doing less spacing out to hide a lack of inventory. Why? They are now hiding the poor optics of low inventory by removing shelves completely.
A photo that we didn’t take was the Seasonal food isle which has seemingly disappeared. From September until January our Walmart seasonal isle was full of seasonal candies. Halloween goodies from September to the end of October, then Christmas goodies from November until early in January. Now? Completely empty. Why? Not sure, but we will keep an eye on it and report back.
So where are the Valentines Day goodies? Good question. In Point of Sale (POS) displays in the isles and end-caps of shelving. Basically hiding a lack of inventory by placing product in small spaces like POS displays and end-caps.
What I do not see is panic buying at our Walmart. You know, crammed full carts or multiple carts by couples or families filled to the brim. Oddly, I’m more likely to see overstuffed and multiple cart buying at ALDI who, at least in our town, does not seem to be experiencing the same empty shelves.