Empty Shelves Testing Grocery Customer Loyalty

Grocers are already seeing supply chain challenges impacting their ability to meet demand this holiday season. Lakeland, Florida-based supermarket chain Publix, which operates 1,289 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, confirmed Friday (November 19) in Jacksonville. , Florida’s First Coast News that it was limiting certain items to two per person during the season “due to ongoing supply issues and increased demand for the holidays.”

Some of these items aren’t surprising – gravy, canned cranberry sauce, and canned pie filling, for example, are obvious choices, given their popularity on Americans’ Thanksgiving dinner tables. Paper items such as disposable plates and napkins are also to be expected, especially given the global shortage of paper items. Other items that are limited, however, seem to have little to do with the holiday shopping rush and more to do with long-standing shortages – items such as sports drinks, pet food, and pouches. of juice.

“There is no set time for these limits, and the list may change to include more items or remove items,” a Publix spokesperson told the outlet.

Lack of paper products could hurt buyer loyalty. What Consumers Expect from Their Grocery Shopping Experiences From PYMNTS, created in collaboration with ACI Worldwide, which featured a census-balanced survey of more than 2,300 American adults, found nearly half of all millennials , 45% of Gen Z consumers and 43% of Millennial consumers indicated that they shopped more at their favorite grocery stores in the past 18 months due to the availability of non-food items.

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Publix is ​​far from the only major grocer to expect challenges in staying stocked to meet consumer vacation needs.

“The supplies may look good now, but our shelves might not look the same – they won’t be the same Wednesday before Thanksgiving,” April Martin, director of business affairs for the Kroger Dallas division, told NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth.

Some local business owners are noting a trend that consumer demand has actually increased in previous years. In general, this would be of great help to independent grocers, who have struggled in recent years not only against industry giants, but also against the broader shift of food spending from consumers to restaurants. However, with these shortages, grocers are unable to meet the needs of consumers, and the situation is likely to frustrate and retain grocers.

“I really think people are spending money and that can also contribute to the supply chain problem,” Anthony Capece Jr., executive director of the Central District Management Association in Albany, told the radio station city ​​public WAMC Northeast. “It’s a strange kind of anomaly that people [want] buy more, but the offer is not there to provide it.

Consumers are noticing these challenges and anxiety is growing. The October IMF Grocery Trends Survey found that 26% of U.S. consumers fear stores may not be able to keep their holiday foods in stock, including 45% of those in households with children. What’s more, the study found that overall, 53% of U.S. consumers are worried about food price inflation.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING PERSPECTIVES

On: It’s almost time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of American consumers plan to do at least some of their purchases online, up 13% from 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed more than 3,600 consumers to find out more about what drives online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preferences.

Joseph P. Harris