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'Don’t hoard and buy extra' | Supply chain troubles impact grocery store shelves ahead of Thanksgiving

Deep Roots Market General Manager Nicole Villano suggests being flexible and open minded when making your grocery list ahead of holiday dinners this year.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Delays in the supply chain have plagued businesses big and small throughout this last year, and store owners are asking shoppers to exercise kindness and patience as they only expect those problems to continue through the holidays. 

Experts are warning shoppers to start buying frozen and non-perishable early. 

General Manager Nicole Villano of Deep Roots Market in Greensboro said supply chain issues are nothing new.

"This has been going on since before the pandemic with climate change issues and overfishing and things like that but it became abundantly clear when people started hoarding and panic buying and really emptying the shelves with their favorite product so they weren’t disappointed when they ran out," said Villano. 

The delays stem from a wide range of problems like worker shortages nationwide, pauses at shipping ports, and manufacturing delays. 

"Whether its bottles of water or capsules for supplements and it goes anywhere from labor shortages at the manufacturers to actual distribution issues I’m sure everyone's heard of ships being held at port," Villano said.

The grocery store can see those delays even in the shipments that do come through, according to Villano. 

"We have had some trucks where we have less than half of what we ordered come in, we have not gotten some trucks," she said, "The hardest part is we staff for a full truck so when the truck doesn’t show up or it's half a truck it’s a struggle with labor."

Customers are calling around more frequently to check stock ahead of time, according to Villano. 

"On the phone, we probably have ten times as many phone calls of not regular customers checking to see if we have something that’s out at the store that they normally shop at. A lot of price checking, people trying to figure out how they're going to get this thing that they like at the best price," said Villano. 

Shopper Lynn Wicker has noticed the empty shelves herself. 

"Wet cat food!" she said, "I've always been able to find at least a few of each but the shelves are almost empty."

Villano suggests packing patience and possibly a backup plan as you head to the grocery store with your list.

"I think people need to be a little bit more mindful when they're shopping this season. Just get what you need. Don’t hoard and buy extra. I've heard people are hoarding turkeys and stuff like that. That’s just silly. There will be more food," she said, "You might not get exactly what you want and I just recommend people try something new or just be flexible. It doesn’t always have to be exactly the way you want it to be. I think that’s the new normal is shopping mindfully, shopping companies that are socially responsible." 

Having an open mind is what some are already considering. 

"It makes me think maybe we should try something new this year," she said, "Try something new, take a deep breath. It's OK."