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The economy and how it is effecting grocery stores...

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
We went to the grocery store (Kroger) today, and I noticed that they have recently done some adjusting of stock. There are not so many selections, and I noticed that 10 and 20lb bags of sugar and flour are now available.

Maybe it's because I just read the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, The Long Winter, but the whole store was restructured, and I noticed also that many items are just missing, or not available. Anyone else care to say what they are seeing in their own local grocery stores??
post #2 of 74
Not a grocery store, necessarily, but last couple of trips to Target, I noticed a lot less inventory.
post #3 of 74
I have noticed similar things but also who is shopping and where.

In costco yesterday, I could count how many people were in the store. One, I parked really close to the store, never happend before. My friend has a membership thru her Dad and I always go with her. We have done this for a few years. I noticed we are not the only ones. Literally 75% of the customers were in twos buying stuff. I bought a bottle of wine. The liquor was stocked high and all the more expensive bottles were well stocked and not touched. PEople were thinking twice about all purchases. You could hear people talking out how much it was, was it worth it in several aisles. People were passing up some produce becaasue they were afraid it might go to waste or just passing it up.

The checkout is about 25 registers and they are always all open even during the week. Only 5 registers were open, waiting time- 2 customers was a long wait. Of course it took longer if there were twos checking out like us. My friend mentioned she was there on a Saturday 2 weeks ago and it was like this on a Saturday!


Home Depot and Menards- the weekend warriors are staying home. My DH lives at both places for all the remodeling we do and he said on weekends the place is empty. Even during the week when its all contractors, its empty.

Department store- several are getting rid of departments like fine jewelery, etc or cutting their staff. I was at one a few Saturdays ago and it was a "big sale" day and the place was empty. I bought all clearance stuff. Still available!

Grocery- I noticed not as much as a selection only like 2 or 3 to choose instead of 5-7 as before. Also, people are not buying tons of snackies, soda etc.
post #4 of 74
I haven't noticed any slowdown at my CostCo. I went in there yesterday and I had to park pretty far from the door, and also had to wait for my turn at a self-check-out. The regular check out lines were pretty long in my opinion. I only had a couple of things but I noticed many people with carts full of stuff that isn't strictly necessary- dvds, summer apparel (and it was 30 degrees here yesterday) that kind of thing. I live in a suburb of KC.

There is a Price Chopper grocery store at the end of my street and the selection there seems to be the usual too...lots of people with artisan bakery bread and pastries, fresh shrimp, flowers, the stuff that you don't actually NEED and can get for less at other places too. *shrug*

Sprint is a big employer here and I know there are people sweating the coming round of layoffs though, so maybe this won't be the case in a month or two...
post #5 of 74

Doing Better

I've heard two spots on NPR recently that grocery stores are doing better, and are expanding their prepared meal section. Supposedly, people aren't eating out at restaurants, but they still want/need some meals prepared and are taking home hot meals from the grocery store. People are also cooking more at home too, and so grocery stores are moving more stock.

I've also heard that places selling small luxuries are doing well. People who used to treat themselves to a $50 meal out are instead picking up three gourmet cookies for $5. Or giving small gourmet treats as gifts instead of bigger ticket items.

I've also heard that fast food is doing quite well. Some are still opening new stores. Honestly, I swear we could eat at Taco Bell for less than it costs to eat at home... we'd just die sooner.

We saw the new Tropicana orange juice container though, and I think it looks more like a store brand container. It isn't any cheaper, but it looks like it could be. Although, I heard a rumour that people rioted and Tropicana is changing the container back to the old design.
post #6 of 74
Eh, my local Costco was the same zoo it always is when I went in there last week - mid week, too.

DH and I ran to the mall for a gift last week and you'd have thought it was Christmas shopping time, we had to drive around the lot a bunch and parked way far away from our prefered entrance just to find a spot. And once inside, there were tons of people (ie, they were not all just at the movies) and most of them had shopping bags.
post #7 of 74
Our stores (groceries, Target, WM, dept stores, etc) went through quite a period where the inventory was much lower than usual. This was back in December/January (after the holidays) and some areas of various stores are still less full than prior to that time frame. I don't actually LIKE Target much, but have been in a few different ones over the last few months for various reasons and they have been particularly more empty than I recall ever seeing before. In most stores I have been in since the holidays, there are entire sections of shelves that are empty. I mentioned it at a couple different Henry's (regional health food store) and the cashiers seem clueless, but other shoppers agree with me. Whatever was going on seems to have only affected Trader Joe's (around here, anyway) for short period of time. Their stores all seem fully stocked now and have been since early February.

As for crowds, I live in a LARGE city (San Diego, CA). There are always people in stores...day and night. I also like to park in the uncrowded zones and get a little exercise walking and carrying my bags. Therefore, I have not noticed any thinning of the shoppers or parking lots.
post #8 of 74
Costco was packed last Monday afternoon. My preferred local grocery store just reopened after a 6 month strike, and it was a little less busy than pre-strike, but it had just reopened 2 days earlier and not everyone was aware. It was very well stocked and very clean. The big produce store across the street was packed at the same time.

I was at the local mall on Tuesday with my kids and it was pretty full for a weekday. Most people seemed to be buying too.
post #9 of 74
The only thing I've noticed lately is really good sales. My publix has been having great bogo sales and sales on "essentials" like milk, eggs, toilet paper and toothpaste. I'm not used to being able to shop sales much, because usually it's on frozen burritos or fishsticks or something else we don't eat. I have noticed less crowding at the whole foods though.
post #10 of 74
I haven't noticed this at the grocery store. HOWEVER, I noticed that Target's inventory is much less. They have shelves that are just empty. Also, I went to TJMaxx and noticed they had less stuff. HOWEVER, I liked it better, b/c usually it is so cramped, b/c they have too much stuff, it looked less messy and more organized to me, esp the toy/book section. They're not trying to cram as much stuff into a small area with smaller displays within aisles like before.
post #11 of 74
Wegmans is thriving as usual, and it doesn't really seem like other businesses are slowing down much here.
post #12 of 74
Costco around here is as busy as usual. I wish it would slow down so I could shop in peace!
post #13 of 74
The economy doesn't seem to be affecting anything in the grocery stores around here. Costco is busy as usual.
post #14 of 74

Cramped

Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
I haven't noticed this at the grocery store. HOWEVER, I noticed that Target's inventory is much less. They have shelves that are just empty. Also, I went to TJMaxx and noticed they had less stuff. HOWEVER, I liked it better, b/c usually it is so cramped, b/c they have too much stuff, it looked less messy and more organized to me, esp the toy/book section. They're not trying to cram as much stuff into a small area with smaller displays within aisles like before.
You're not kidding. TJMaxx is not a pleasant store to get around in. I'm not a big person, and I can barely get around the racks at our store.
post #15 of 74
I've personally seen a lot of great deals/sales at Target and our local grocery stores. Mac n Cheese - 10 for $10 - Toothpaste BOGO 1/2 off - things like that.

But I have also noticed that local thrift/consignment stores for adults and children are PACKED every time I go - which is once or twice a week and on random days.
post #16 of 74
Safeway has had some good sales. I haven't noticed any reduction in inventory at the stores I usually go to.
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by soccermama View Post

But I have also noticed that local thrift/consignment stores for adults and children are PACKED every time I go - which is once or twice a week and on random days.
My DH dropped off a bunch of donations today at our local Goodwill, but stopped inside to see if there was anything there. He said the store was really cleaned out, b/c it's so over-shopped these days. We live in an area hit really badly by the auto industry, so the economy where we live is very noticeably hurting.
post #18 of 74
I'm going to move this to Frugality and Finances since it deals with economic issues.
post #19 of 74
Around here, NE NY, it's not so much that there are less people out but I think what they're shopping for is different.

Seems like more people are comparing prices because all the really good deals seem to be out lately when I go shopping. Like the *big* bottle of Ajax that is WAY less than any other the other brands is consistently empty or low, but all the other bottles looks about the same.

I've heard that $1 stores are doing really well right now, but I rarely go to ours. We make most of our cleaners & they don't carry much for food (well, at least not food we'd actually eat ) They are good for cards though. Assuming I don't just have the DDs make one instead.
post #20 of 74
Costco is always a zoo, but Target had one register open this morning.. just one.. and not a lot of staff there either.. lots of baby items were sold out or there was just one or two on the shelf.. but I am not sure if that is out of the ordinary or not.. we have only one target here and it is on the far side of town from me..

Gottschalks is closing all over town.. but then we have a Kohl's opening, and an Anderson's coming soon, too... so?
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