Potential Food Shortages, by 3AD Scout

I’d like to address the potential for food shortages. The producers of the YouTube channel “Six Acres” filmed some shelves at a Williston, North Dakota Walmart. The Six Acres footage was posted on December 12, 2019. The Six Acres YouTube video was on my suggested list so I took a look at it.

There has been much discussion about food shortages on various prepper blogs and other forums. I have watched and listened to some but obviously not all. But when watching the Six Acres video and comparing and contrasting with my trips to my own local Walmart here in Pennsylvania I have a theory.

Having worked in retail in my younger days, we were directed twice each shift to “front and face” which was a term to go into our area of responsibility and move product from the back of the shelf to the front of the shelf where product had been removed as customers picked it up. We also turned around product that had gotten moved so that the front of the product label was able to be seen by shoppers. What I saw in the video was the lack of this normal retail practice in several pictures. There was product but it was towards the back of the shelf. Many of the products were turned on their side or otherwise not placed orderly on the shelf. Has Walmart cut back on employees and/or have not made fronting and facing a priority? With North Dakota having an unemployment rate of 2.5%, Walmart may not be able to compete for workers against others who are paying higher wages.

The other thing I know about Walmart is that they use a system called vendor managed stocks. Many times, the products are inventoried and ordered and many times even placed on the shelves by non-Walmart employee who work for the food company themselves. With that said, not all products are managed this way, the best example being the Walmart store brand, Great Value which would be stocked and managed by Walmart employees. Interesting enough the video shows that both Walmart Great Value brands and national brands both not being front and faced.

The video showed various cuts of fresh meat and the prices as well. For sure those prices seem higher than the prices I have seen here locally. But it is available.

Visibly Smaller Inventory

The Six Acres video showed an aisle of detergent that was also suffering from lack of fronting and facing and also lack of product. Are we having a nationwide laundry detergent shortage? I think the shortage of products, not just food, point to something different than a food shortage.

The grocery business operates on some of the thinnest profit margins in retail. So, the bigger stores are always looking for ways to be more profitable, just like any business. A can of Great Value corn cost the same in Williston, North Dakota as it does in Erie, Pennsylvania. The question is which can of corn is more profitable for Walmart? Walmart has been known for their innovative business and inventory management practices. I suspect that Walmart is looking at adjusting their methods by reducing the number of deliveries to less profitable (i.e. stores in less populated areas).

Here, in my area, we have not seen any shortages. Things look “normal”. Think about the just in time  (JIT) delivery system for Walmart to a rural area. Sending a truck each day to a rural store where maybe a few plates are off loaded before the truck goes onto the next rural Walmart probably costs them a lot of dollars. If Walmart could reduce their number of deliveries per week at hundreds of rural stores imagine what that would do to their bottom line. Also, if Walmart isn’t requiring their vendors to send in their employees to these stores as frequently that would also reduce the costs that the vendors are charging Walmart.

Just In Time Spices?

One of the other areas in the video that caught my attention was the spice aisle. Do we really believe that there is a shortage of spices? Or going back to my theory have these stores just not been stocked after being hit hard by shoppers who picked up spices for their Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays?

The United States would be one of the last nations to see shortages of food for a few reasons. One, much of the food is grown/raised and processed here. If food was in a short supply, shipments outside the US would be cut as the cost of shipping the product overseas would be less profitable. Two, as the second largest economy in the world, we can afford food. As a nation we have more disposable income that can be shifted to pay for higher priced food. We would see food riots in poorer nations as food became more expensive and then less available. If you really want to know what caused the Arab spring to pop up in Egypt, look at the time line when the Egyptian Government cut bread subsidies to the masses of poor. If there was food shortages in the US, we would also be hearing from our local food banks and pantries who help feed those in need.

As preppers, this theory that the perceived food shortages being caused by new business strategies and low unemployment should not give us warm and fuzzies. What this will mean is that rural areas will be even more susceptible to the just in time deliveries. If Walmart is in fact playing with trying to come up with a new inventory and shipping algorithm other retailers adopting the same business practice will not be far behind. Besides not being able to get a can of corn when you shop at a grocery store perhaps next it will be the lack of an electrical fuse, a pipe fitting or a replacement well pump at your local hardware store. I don’t see this at “mom and pop” shops but I can envision corporate run stores doing this in rural areas. Lack of local inventory means making sure you not only have a good stock on hand for day-to-day use as well as for when the Schumer Hits The Fan (SHTF).

I am not saying that we don’t have shortages of certain foods or that we won’t have shortages in the future, but when we can buy a can of corn for 50 cents, I don’t think that points to a shortage. What do you think a can of corn would sell for in Venezuela?

Marketing Psychology

Something else to consider is huge corporations like Walmart use psychology in marketing and identifying societal trends. If I only go into town once a month to shop at the Walmart and I know that items might be lacking do you think Walmart (and others) might know that people will buy extra? Think about the whole .22 rimfire ammunition shortage, just a few years ago. People could not get it so when they could they bought as much as they could. It is just an assumption on my part but I would be willing to bet that if you did a study more rural people are apt to be prepared with extra on hand supplies than their suburban or urban counterparts. I’m not saying that they are all “preppers” but they are probably more inclined to have extra on hand supplies so they aren’t running to the hardware store or grocery store for basic supplies.

As our great nation struggles with remaining true to the Constitutional principles that made this the greatest nation state in the history of mankind, preppers need to beware of societal and business trends that can impact our survival. Having less inventory of products in our rural areas could greatly impact our ability to survive a societal upheaval such as a second civil war. The British went after our supplies of shot and powder in Concord, but we all know an army marches on its stomachs. Food is the ultimate weapon.

JWR Adds: Partly for drama, I picked a photo for this article that shows an even more severe shortage. Shortages like that occur nearly every time a hurricane approaches landfall.

It is noteworthy that Walmart store that was photographed in the Six Acres YouTube video is in Williston, North Dakota. So it may not be typical of other Walmart stores in the western United States. You see, Williston is in the Bakken oil and natural gas producing region, which straddles the North Dakota/Montana state line. The Bakken is famous for going through “boom-bust” cycles. During boom times, there are virtually no minimum wage employees. Nay, the starting wages are around $12 per hour, just to slop hogs or push a broom. The cost of living in the Bakken is notoriously high. I suspect that as each “bust” is rumored, housewives in the Bakken region instinctively stock up on staple supplies.

I’d be curious to hear if SurvivalBlog readers living elsewhere in the west are seeing similar under-stocking, stock depletion, or deliberate inventory downsizing at their local Walmart stores. Please chime in, down in the comments. Thanks.




95 Comments

  1. I live in the Redoubt in a city of 60,000 with one super Walmart. I don’t notice shortages in the food department. I do see it is probably only 20 percent of the store. Mostly the store is made in China junk – electronics, housewares, clothing.
    In an emergency the food will be gone within a day. At least here food doesn’t seem to be a priority item for Walmart.

      1. That’s an interesting point. I recently moved down to North Texas from NE Ohio. My mom is down visiting for the hollidays and we were discussing the differences between grocery stores. We had both noticed that despite the larger store size and larger population per store, multiple grocery stores down here seem to have less selection. The stores up in Cleveland area, although smaller in some cases, often had a larger selection of nearly everything.

        I also rarely ever saw empty shelves up there. Since being down here I have seen, not necessarily bone dry, but depleted stocks in various isles a few different times. And it wasn’t like there was some disaster or emergency going on. Makes me think there is a difference in JIT stocking strategies between them. (primarily based on Giant Eage (OH) and Kroger (TX))

  2. I find the Six Acre site focus highly selective and context sorely lacking. I dont go to their site at all anymore.

    On the other hand, since I buy for my elderly parents and myself, I can tell you that there is change on the shelves at wally world. Our Super Walmart serves at least 30,000. There are other big box stores in the area but they serve a higher price point clientele (Publix, Kroger etc…)

    While repackaging for smaller volume with higher pricing is rampant in the grocery business the startling thing I have noticed is the lack of diversity of products that Walmart once offered. Sugar, flour, bread, cooking oil and most other staples are commanding a 1/4 of the space they once held. Though many brands have been gobbled up and combined, many are squeezed out and not offered a place on the shelved as the marketing gurus at HQ deem necessary.

    Candy and soda hold an entire isle each. While I believe that M&M’s are an important food group candy as a whole use to command only a 1/4 isle! Bread is reduced to half an isle and only two brands are offered. Meats retain their space but are sparse in their offerings. I believe this is due to more people eating fast food and a lack of cooking meals at home. One whole isle is bottled water only…one brand, two sizes. Half of an isle near by is flavored water drinks. Cereals have taken a huge hit in the number of brands offered now offering only a 1/2 an isle offered.

    I believe the Six Acre video’s apply the wrong context to the given visual. I do, however, believe that the public is getting harder to read from a marketing stand point and people are not shopping for food in the same way they did 5 years ago. 5 years ago I bought the same list of food stuffs I do now, only then I would fill two baskets for $400 dollars and now I fill only one.

    I think Walmart is finding it harder to squeeze blood from a turnip…and it shows.

    1. Scout,

      The video that I reference was the first time I ever watched a video from their site.

      I like your insights particularly about the flour and sugar selection. People don’t cook or bake from scratch anymore, if they can’t microwave it and Be eating it in 5 minutes it is too much effort. Once in a while I’ll buy bread from the local Amish, it is so good! I remember making/baking bread with my Grandma and mother when I was little. The wife and I discussed and she is willing to try. BUT, I want to build an outdoor clay oven first. This year hopefully.

      1. Hey Scout, here’s a concept that worked great for me as far as clay baking ovens go:

        https://www.woodfiredpizza.org/rocket-oven-construction.html

        I built mine to look like a traditional clay oven with a stone masonry base but used the rocket stove idea. With just a single handful of sticks, I could preheat the oven in 10 minutes and then cook a pizza or bread in the normal time. Unfortunately, they’re not portable so gotta get a new one built for the homestead.

      2. We have a Wal Mart Supercenter in a county of 40,000. I recently shopped for bread flour. The entire flour section was about 8 foot of shelving. The 8 foot included a lot of non wheat “flour”. The shelves were fairly full, mostly of Great Value brand flour. However, the entire stock was less than 100 pounds of wheat flour of all kinds. Sugar was similar, probably less than 200 pounds total. Rice, maybe 100 pounds total, and maybe 100 pounds of all types of beans. Scout is right; if you wanted bottled water, there was a whole aisle of it. There are only two other grocery stores serving the county, and they have about the same amounts of basic food stuffs. If the deliveries ever stop, people will get hungry real fast.

  3. I live in VT and our local Walmart always has bare shelves. It is poorly run, inadequately stocked and pretty much out of stuff all the time so that’s nothing new. I was shocked on a recent road trip to go to Walmarts in West Virginia and North Carolina and find well stocked stores carrying a wide diversity of products at all different price points. Wow. My local Walmart is so bad they literally are out of camping supplies in June. As there’s few other affordable places to shop in the area I mostly order online or do without.

    I’m in MA now doing a petsitting gig; the local grocery stores are amazing. The Market Basket is huge, fully stocked with a selection of items I’ve never seen, all at lower prices than in VT.

    So why is this? I’d guess it has to do with rural versus city/suburban higher population areas. The stores don’t bother keeping much in stock for areas with lower populations and JIT delivery doesn’t work well when only 1 item was on the shelf in the first place. They carry a much lower selection of products in rural areas. I think they also figure we’re stuck as where else can we shop now other than the Dollar store?

    They also seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of staff; noticed they had a bunch of temp workers there recently. There are plenty of people hanging out on the streets with signs asking for money and lots sleeping in shelters but they don’t seem to be ending up working at Walmart, probably due to a combination of factors including mental health, addiction and sometimes laziness.

    In any sort of disaster situation or rumblings of trouble though, these stores would be sold out of anything useful in no time as they stock so little to begin with. Personally, I’d head to a regular hardware store, feed/farm store etc if I needed stuff in a hurry if that were the case as the masses would head to Walmart to pick over the bare shelves.

    1. I assume he is referring to China, and depending on which source you draw from, he’d be both right or wrong. Either way, his larger point that America is an extremely wealthy nation is the more important point.

    2. Tim,

      I stand corrected – a while back I could have swore I read an article where China over took the US economy. Their GDP his much higher than ours but officially America is still at the top of the chart.

  4. re:
    buying vs making

    Some Pacific Islanders have a religion called ‘cargo cult’.
    According to their belief, a diety known as ‘Tom Frum’ will magically furnish everything they need.
    Instead of growing food and other materials, the cargoists spend their time wishing in religious ceremonies.

    A form of this is the hope a Santa Claus or other mythical being will magically perform the necessary work as long as believers wish hard enough.

    Yes, I witnessed ‘aisle widening’ at a Wal*Mart in west Eugene Oregon.
    By removing entire shelve units, the inventory appeared to be the same.
    However, I and other shoppers immediately noticed the reduction in amount and variety of inventory.

    In the same way Pacific Islander cargoists hope Tom Frum will drop by to ‘fill the shelves’, I wish the abundance of America’s grocery stores will continue so I don’t have to do the work of farming and ranching, canning my surplus and growing my cotton to make my clothes.

    Our species is good at creating and believing the ‘normalcy bias’ illusion of infinite abundance.
    The infinite growth of The Economy© on a finite planet is a wish not based in reality.

    With nearly seven decades under my belt, I witnessed the increase in humans from a mere couple billions to… how many?… nine billions? Ten billions?
    I don’t see any way that can continue.

    I am a pilot.
    Flying over Oregon’s forests, I see re-planting after clear-cuts.
    Mono-crops of GMO plantations of quick growing trees.
    As we learned in the Goodyear rubber plantations, the lack of diversity quickly leads to a single disease organism wiping out the entire crop.

    Wishes to the contrary, our species may not survive our continued — and accelerating — growth in numbers.
    Could the aisle widening at Wal*Mart be a result rather than a symptom?

  5. Great article, 3AD Scout. And, thanks to JWR for the transparency about the profile picture.

    I question that once a person/ family reaches a certain amount of prepping, that it would be best to start becoming more active in their local society.

    Most of all food shortage stories seem to be based on a large corporation displacing locally run businesses over several years which destroys the local economy. The wealth in that local area is taken out of that economy by the larger corporations. Then, that larger corporation experiencing hardship in one region may impact another.

    In doing so, many people tie together their identity and security to these corporate food lines, rather than making the smarter, more sustainable choice of supporting local businesses. I always found it interesting that in certain regions, a lot of resources are produced, but then shipped off to take part in the global system. Then, any supply issues for what ever reasons, may later impact that same local economy where the resources originally came from. It is almost funny if it wasn’t so backwards.

    It reminds me of manufactured insecurity.

    1. Muddykid,

      Thanks for the compliment. I am thinking about your comment on reaching a certain point in prepping and then becoming more active in the community. Over the years I have prepped differently depending upon where I lived and what I was doing. If I had a do over I know I would change 2 things right from the start- one would be to find some land and start from there. I moved around and each move I lost preps. Not like food or water and equipment but more infrastructure, stuff I built or planted. As I wrote time is one of truly preciously limited prepper resources and I lost all that time investment with each move. The other thing is I would have joined the local Volunteer Fire Department. I have the opportunity to take certain courses with our local fire departments and there is a lot of good knowledge there. I am astounded at the knowledge some have on hydraulics. I once watched a fireman figure out what would be needed to draft/pump water out of Lake Erie about 12 city blocks inland using 5 inch hose. True knowledge. I take a lot of collapse rescue courses with them and I have come to the realization that Firemen are really “the jack of all trades master of none”. They also know everything and everyone in their community.
      So i think being involved in one’s community shouldn’t wait. I have moved to a new community and made it a point to introduce myself to my neighbors and local businessmen.

    2. I can see you folks are paying attention. The “cancer capitalism” that has led to soda pop and candy crowding out staples just for the profit margin is destroying our beautiful world.

      As Muddykid noted, food produced and shipped awayfor money rather than kept local is more and more common.

      As much as I appreciate capitalism, I am dismayed by the metastisizing of it.

      Carry on

  6. I live in N.E. Conn. in a mostly rural area, roughly fifty miles from the big city. Our local Walmart is very similar to the one discussed in the article. The shelves are not well stocked and some times for long periods of time ( 3 to 4 weeks ) . Product choice is becoming less all the time. Most recently Wal mart has discontinued the sale of handgun and 223/566 rifle ammunition. I can understand the reasoning for the that particular rifle ammo ( but do not agree ) but the non sale of handgun ammo leaves me to wonder if Walmart knows anything about guns at all.
    Yes, living in a rural community we have always kept a well supply of the ” needful things ” on hand. Sad to say not everyone thinks like that. The slight hint of a snow storm and the local Wall world gets wiped out.. remember the boy scout motto always ” be prepared”.

  7. In Southeastern Washington/ Palouse region the term ‘food shortage’ has never pursed the lips of it’s inhabitants. So long as the mighty Columbia and snake rivers have water, and the sun keeps shining, Food will be plentiful.
    As one farmer put it, ‘Just because you can’t buy an Apple in May doesnt mean there is a a food shortage, it just means you have to wait until august.’
    People have grown accustom to eating out of season, so when something disrupts that luxury, automatically the alarm bells go off and it becomes a crisis.

    Walmart isnt the go-to grocery store in my part of the Redoubt. WINCO is, and they are always stocked to the gunnels with food.

    1. I live in the same area as you and agree with you totally. I was told by an old-timer that has lived in this area all her life that this area did OK during the depression too. It is a great growing area with wonderful soil. They were unable to continue to market their farm products to Canada during the depression. So the innovative locals built canneries and thrived.

    2. America & janie,
      I too live in the redoubt, Palouse area. Most of the old time residents in the area do gardening and canning.
      I have noticed that several who live in some of the small towns do not grow food. In a food shortage scenario I think they would probably be in trouble . Hopefully not a problem.
      I agree, WINCO is our go to store for most grocery items , preferred over Costco. We seldom ever go to Walmart.

  8. In northeastern rural Arizona there are often missing items on the shelves and the diversity greatly decreased after the latest ‘remodel’ of the local Walmart. Many of the shortages began to appear after the voters approved a greatly increased minimum wage and Walmart decreased their employees by about 15 to 20 percent. There is also an issue with turnover caused by Walmart policy. In a rural mountain area where many live off grid on unmaintained dirt roads Walmart has a policy of 3 absences and you lose your job. After a winter storm it can take 2 or 3 days or more before people can get out. One storm and many lose their jobs. Walmart also has greatly decreased the size of their food storage aisle and fabric department.
    Shortages in these areas and in the camping departments can take weeks to fill.
    Difficult in our area because outside of Walmart or Ace we must drive 4 hours to a larger metropolitan area or shop online and be tracked.

  9. I beg to differ with one premise in the article. My local Wally sells canned corn for .38 regularly. (I live in a mid-Atlantic state, in a city with an area-wide population of 100,000). In a recent trip to rural Wisconsin, I noted to my hubby that the local Wally there was selling that same canned corn on “sale” for .50, down from .62. That .50 is notably higher than .38 in my local store!

  10. Let’s remember that Walmart is a business, first and foremost, not a social engineering entity, and while Walmart’s business practices and capabilities that come with size often do make it uncomfortable and unprofitable for smaller Mom and Pop business, that’s simply a result of one business being better at something than another. And consumer choice that spends dollars where it’s more convenient and less expensive – some consumers support the Mom and Pops out of a sense of “duty” or longing for the old times, but usually not enough to close down the Mom and Pop. We have a relatively small, five location hardware store here in North Texas – Elliots – they are successful, in spite of many Lowes and Home Depots, because they’ve found a niche that people want – better, more knowledgeable service people, and items that the big box stores don’t carry – they are more expensive, but some folks are willing to pay more in some cases. It’s not always a conspiracy, or the Illuminati directing everything – with Walmart, some stores are maybe just run better than other Walmarts, and some stores aren’t stocked as well because the merchandise doesn’t sell as well as it does at other stores – it’s business, not a conspiracy.

    1. Hey AC, I wonder how many folks are aware that often the local mom & pop hardware stores CAN compete with Lowes and HD. My local mom and pop has four stores in surrounding counties. When I moved here I went in to my local one and told them I was building a house, I’d be a loyal customer, and I was going to need their best Good Old Boy prices. They handed me a hat and a nail apron and said, “No problem!” Not only were the prices better but I saved all the gas money since they were closer than the big box stores in the next county. It wasn’t until later I figured out that even without the GOB discount, my local hardware store was way cheaper on nails and deck screws and a whole lot of other things. Lowes and HD make you think they are cheap because they have cheap lumber, when in fact, so much of the rest of their stuff is high priced and people don’t bother to check. And once you’re on a first-name basis with your local hardware store, they’ll give you all kinds of other great deals and freebies as well. I got a bunch of free greenhouse glass and 50% off on some lexan panels, just because I asked. And I get all the free treated lumber 2 x 4 x 40″ scraps I can use which I make my beehive stands with.

      As for food shortages, haven’t seen any in this neck of the woods. I shop at the local small chain (5 stores in surrounding counties) where prices are comparable to Walmart if you stick with the generic brands. Milk and bananas are about the only things that are high priced compared to Walmart. Manager of the local mom and pop says he can only get bleu cheese sporadically but that’s a small price to pay for living here. Wish some of the Wisconsin readers would send some Cowchego this way…

    2. Anonymous Citizen: Very true and very well put.The folks over at the “Flat Earth Society”
      won’t believe it though.Businesses have always manipulated prices and supply.Its what they do

    3. Anonymous citizen,
      I agree that Walmart is a business but to think that there’s no social engineering I think might be a little naive. When Walmart chooses to sell ammo to only 21 year olds and stops carrying certain firearms and ammunition I think that is social engineering. Especially when done after a mass shooting. Are you going to say that AR15 and .223 ammo weren’t making Walmart a profit? When large Corporations are owned by people with political agendas, including state pension funds they very easily become tools for social engineering.

    4. I think a large part of the variations is that some store managers are just better than others at maintaining inventory and planning seasonal events.

      The Walmart closest to me doesn’t stock much fishing equipment, but one about 2 hours away next to a large lake has tons of items.

      Point being, this stuff largely doesn’t come from corporate so to speak, but middle management.

      Side comment on Walmart employees, friends that have worked there tell me that it’s not the best place and that they moved on as soon as feasible.

  11. There is something else strange going on, too. I live rural SC. The only gas available last week in two small towns I was in was regular. Signs posted “87 only”. This was Corporation gas stations. Don’t know how gas stations work, but, a rude awakening about taking things for granted.

    1. Having worked in that industry for almost 20 years, that could be something as simple as an issue at the terminal. I’ve seen it many times, I wouldn’t ascribe any bigger meaning to it.

  12. Dear Readers,

    Concerning poor inventory and less foods found in rural Walmarts, I just would like to remind you of another reason for these phenomenon.

    The NWO has a plan to reduce the world’s population and to concentrate the populations into supercities, so that they can better control everything that person could do. This plan is called Agenda 2030, it is part of the Beast System of the book of Revelation.

    Therefore having less variety and less inventory in Rural Walmarts is possibly a method of discouragement and frustration for rural people to encourage them to move to larger cities? And of course rural areas are not as high of a priority for stocking, as are large cities. RESIST! PLAN! STOCK UP!

    1. Avalanche Lily,
      Yes , AGENDA 2030 is the game plan they have designed for us by the United Nations. I feel the UN is a foundation block of a NWO society as well. One of the goals as you mentioned is to move us rural folks to big and more controllable cities.
      Interesting times indeed.

  13. An often overlooked form of inflation is the stealth reduction in content quanity/size of packaging. Over the last decade, we’ve noticed many products are being sold with a lower unit/$ average (ie: the $2.99 12oz bottle of ketchup used to hold 16oz). In some cases the quantity reduction is as high as 30%, but the price is the same or higher. We recently replaced some old tupperware and cutting boards- the plastic is literally half the thickness of the old stuff. Is this due to commodity shortage or clever marketing?

  14. Living in central Iowa there don’t seem to be “shortages” in the local wall-marts or other stores – however, in the last 5-10 years a major food retailer went out of business (Dahls), the food chain Hyvee has remodeled many stores and did isle widening and have a reduced variety of brands / items on the shelves. Targets have remodeled too and have decreased choices. Hyvee has also opened several ‘quick/health market’ sites that have a small foot print and cater to the younger office professional types.

    The neighborhood hardware store moved to a larger building and seems to always have a good stock of household hardware items on hand. Some of the local restaurants have folded but smaller new ones keep popping up too. My guess (for our area) is there is a generational shift in eating habits and shopping styles going on and retailers are trying to keep up. There has been a major uptick in local on-line shopping… I can order all my food etc. on the web site from the store and it’s delivered. There are a lot of other local efforts to support local on-line order/deliver of products too. JIT stocking also has an impact but that is always more noticeable in small population / one store areas unlike any community with several stores to shop in – Des Moines verses Algona type of sizes.

  15. We go to town for grocery’s once a month and spend $600.00/700.00 . Since Wal Mart has reduced the amount of live checker”s to 3, shoppers are reduced to the auto checker machine’s. Otherwise, you wait in line for 30 minutes to get a live checker. This won’t work for us. We go to Safeway or City Market, where a live checker is working, possibly pay a little more for items from well stocked shelves, and go on our way. Also we don’t agree with Wal Marts position on open carry, selling guns/ammo. We live in a rural area and don’t agree with the big city attitude/policies . If Sam Walton were still alive, wonder what he would think of the current policies.?????

  16. Funny . Was thinking the opposite during a recent visit to Wally World. The huge amount of frozen food, dairy and baked goods. Granted nothing very appealing if you’re brave enough to read the ingredients label.

    Hard to imagine sustaining the seas when we’re dredging the bottom for every last piece of fish so it can be processed and sit in an open freezer in the aisle of the local Walmart.

    We have 2 regional supermarket chains. One is a discount store and it competes pretty much on par with Walmart but better selection . Although the meat is subpar.

    The other is more expensive but convenient and that’s the one that gets most of the family’s business. One thing that’s very comical right around the beginning of March corned beef starts to get very expensive. It’s a horrendously cheap piece of meat, but they’re trying to cash in on the residual Irish immigration population celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.

  17. I live in a poorer, rural area of NYS and I have noticed the local walmarts seem to be catering to the welfare crowd. Around the 30th-31st of every month the shelves are stocked full as snap cards are filled on a daily basis from the 1st of the month through the 7th of the month. By the 10th or 12th day of the month the shelves are empty and they stay that way until the end of that month when they stock the shelves once again.

  18. I live in the mid-south and so far, the only grocery food shortages we have had have been from recalled items. Sometimes it’s fresh vegetables, hamburger, pork or chicken; things that have been on a national or regional recall. However, the local stores I frequent have been experiencing transportation problems; the trucks do not arrive on schedule. Sometimes they are hours and some times days late.

    I recently saw on an IceageFarmer.com that Walmart, Kroger and Amazon are building their own fresh vegetable green houses to supply their grocery market. I don’t think they are up and running yet, but in 2020 they probably will be.

    The other situation I have found is the store(s) are not stocking certain types of items; but they can be ordered by the store or the larger stores have free shipping from their warehouses. For example, grocery stores no longer carry bread-making supplies and have limited choices of Italian, Asian and Hispanic brand foods. I do not shop at Walmart; their closest store to my location is an hour drive. When I make my quarterly run to the warehouse stores many items are not available in-store and must be shipped from their distribution centers. I have switched to bulk ordering my baking supplies from American vendors like Honeyville.

    Early in the 2019 the feed store was not receiving American non-GMO pellets from their supplier located in the deep south. I was told the supplier was not receiving raw goods to produce the pellets. Maybe it was an early effect of the bad weather experienced by American farmers?

    Over the last few years, many hardware stores carry very little inventory other than high-turn-over common items, so if you need a replacement light bulb for your oven hood or track light fixture, it may not be there. Many items have to be pre-ordered, arriving a week or so later.

    I see these conditions as pre-cursers to what is coming. I don’t thing we are at the Venezuela stage yet, but ya never know how fast a collapse can occur if the political winds change.

  19. We are most assuredly seeing the effects of the stealth (and in some ways no-longer-so-stealth) effects of inflationary pressures. Best recommendation: skill build and acquire the means of production.

  20. We live in rural eastern Washington. We have Three Walmart’s within 60 miles. All have shelves that are unfaced or void/ almost void of product from time to time. These products aren’t specialty Items. They are basics.

  21. The Walmarts in our area, Salisbury,MD are the same way. The prices also went up as the shelves became empty. We have numerous Food Lions, plus an Acme and an Aldi. Their stores are fully stocked and the prices are lower.
    Makes me wonder if Walmart is paying their suppliers on time.

  22. The possibility of food shortages is real and should be prepared for. But in watching the video I kept waiting to see the shortages and as the text pointed to problems and then showed full shelves with a lot of goods available I wondered was this the Onion? The video was poorly done it the intent was to show shortages.

  23. I have seen bare shelves after big snowstorms, when trucks can’t get over passes. Lots of possibilities. Still need to be prepared for whatever. If SHTF and you have no food, you have only yourself to blame

  24. Just was at Wal-Mart and aldi today here in western new york. Didn’t notice any shortages, they had what I wanted. Aldi’s was stocked to the gills. This was about an hour south of Buffalo.

  25. First of all, we don’t purchase any food/products from “those” stores which demand you pay for their plastic/paper bags. Hey, whatever the owner feels is killing the environment/trees and damning the world to hell is not to be promoted on every patron that walks through the store. These types of stores are usual in Commufonia! If Walmart did this I would have my attorney sue to change policy!

    @LargeMarge
    What do you fly, I am also a pilot (private – fixed wing single engine)?
    Also, I was at Ohio State recently (my alma mater ) They have banners on High street (where 20,000 students migrate on Friday and Saturday night) and statement such as “Don’t have children the world can’t sustain them” and “Private Property is the cause of crime”

    Can you believe this crap?????

    @Yampa Smith
    Since you don’t agree with Walmart “open carry” nor “selling guns/ammo” does this mean you’re not sold out to the second amendment? In the 1800’s every town general store sold those items… Walmart should too! It gives us a presence on the 2A. just saying!

  26. I live in a small town in upstate New York. Our local Walmart recently underwent renovation. The grocery dept was downsized and variety reduced. You have to avoid peak shopping times because the shelves are empty. Also seems to be more convenience type foods.

  27. The Walmart in Boise is always well stocked, however, I only buy a few items there….dog treats and dog food made in USA, etc. We have an abundance of places to buy ammo and accessories, so Walmart is way at the bottom of the list. Winco foods and Albertsons stores are always well stocked and Fred Meyers is a better alternative to Walmart. I always check labels and usually find comparable pricing for goods made in the USA…..if everyone did that more money and jobs would stay here.

  28. Here in Fairbanks, Alaska the Walmart is stocked . The prices are a little higher than down in the lower 48. However, the prices are still reasonable other than dairy and fresh vegetables. So, not sure what’s going on since we’re most likely shopping at the farthest north Walmart!!!

  29. My 2 local stores are the same as they have always been. I live in Minnesota, We can grow food we ease as our soil is so good. If food prices go up, more people will grow food. In the fall I get all kinds of free cantelope, squash, berrys, corn, green beans, tomatoes, etc. Typically people in this area grow way more than they can eat, so we share with others.

  30. In my area, suburb of Detroit, it all depends on what time of day you go to the store. There is no shelf stocking during the day. All their stockers are doing convenience shopping for customers who won’t or can’t shop for themselves. You know, order on line and pick it up in an hour.

    Go to the store in the morning, no problem, go in the afternoon, empty shelves. It’s the same at Kroger and Walmart. The big store with the best stocked shelves is Meijer. They don’t do convenience shopping yet, and they stock shelved throughout the day. The other well stocked store in my area is a mom and pop store that carries Our Family and Spartan brand as their house brand products. The prices are a little higher, than Kroger or Walmart, on name brand products, but their shelves are always well stocked, even during a blizzard.

    All that being said, I haven’t really noticed any food shortages except when there is a food recall.

    I’m not a fan of Aldi. The food they stock is usually off-the-wall brands that I’ve never heard of and what I have tried is usually of inferior quality. My opinion, YMMV.

  31. There are varying reports about food availability and the other things at the different Walmart Stores.
    In my area, the Walmart inventory >might be affected by the number of homeless people near a Walmart store, and the honesty of the other shoppers too.

    1. First Walmart; shopped there for years, = Sparse shelves and many commonly available items locked behind Glass Cases on the sales floor; ~ ie cosmetics, over the counter drug items, spray paints, baby formula, liquor, flashlights, knives, car stereo components other car items, and flashlights. ~ plus numerous other items stashed behind glass cases on the sales-floor.

    I saw the manager of the Store drag out of the woman’s bathroom, an empty cardboard box, that once held a brand new baby stroller. … Once, A man walking in front of me tried to walk-out, with new bicycle without a receipt.
    I once bought an item out of a glass case; the sales lady shook the package, and said, ‘You have to check to make sure the item is still in the box!’
    (Anything out of a glass case immediately is taken to a register and paid for.)

    I’ve even spotted used shoes in the shoe department, and used clothing in the clothing department. Maybe, someone traded shoes and clothing; rather than paying for the new stuff. [Also, it could be they were starving, and had to open a package of food and consume most of it over in the Grocery section. … The empty cold beer can in the bathroom is easily explained by saying, “People needs a cold beer on a hot day. Let Sam Walton pay for it.”

    2. I switched Walmarts to another town. = A young man in the parking lot was stumbling along like a drug addict. He sat down on a ‘small tree island curb’ and ‘nodded-off’ apparently, and then laid down. … I asked if he was OK, and got no response. I told Walmart security immediately. They called the police, and watched the guy, until the cops arrived. [I don’t think he was sick; neither did Walmart security as they called the cops, instead of an ambulance.]

    3. I then switched to a Walmart out in a more rural area; it’s a place without the necessary support area and facilities, for the homeless. = This Walmart is the old Walmart of Abundance on the shelves. … The Great American Abundance of Stuff is readily available.
    ********************************

    The USA has a horrific drug problem, and a consequential theft/crime problem too. Much of the bitter Weed of Crime seems to be caused by illegal drugs.
    The efforts to legalize drugs would just increase drug addiction, people unable to work, the Welfare case loads, and people stealing from Walmart & elsewhere.

    My Church feeds 150 people just one meal a day during the week. The hungry have to go elsewhere for more food and help.
    Some of the homeless say thank you by defecating and urinating around the Church property. I only give money for the meals; true kindhearted Christians prepare and distribute the food. [They also clean up the mess.]

    The Jews in town help out at the Christian Charities. ~ I know this for a fact. Obviously, the Jews would be ‘thanked’ by deadly attacks. … Many of the homeless people are demoniac drug addicts.

  32. In west central WI, the Walmart (seldom visited by us) is always well stocked. The grocery section also has a variety of fruit, vegetable, meats to serve the Mexican community in the area. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the selection and quantities. That said I prefer to drive another direction to a locally owned grocery store.

    Generally store replenishment and store selection is based on what is purchased by the local customer. If a full of aisle of candy is stocked, it’s because the local consumer is buying it. I don’t blame Walmart for what it stocks. They stock what sells.

  33. I live in the Midwest. The local Walmarts have downsized their product selection here also. I believe they are shifting their focus to online shopping and ordering to compete with Amazon.

    To the poster wbo asked “Wbat would Sam Walton think”?- Walmart is no longer owned by the Walton family. After his wife’s death, Walmart was purchased by an overseas conglomerate,from Belgium-Germany, IIRC. The conglomerate pays the Walton heirs megamillions per year to continue to use the Walmart name.

    1. I did not know Walmart had been sold. Now I understand why Walmart changed its guns/ammo philosophy! Europeans are rabid anti-gun and want people defenseless in order to implement their NWO.

      “Walmart is no longer owned by the Walton family. After his wife’s death, Walmart was purchased by an overseas conglomerate,from Belgium-Germany, IIRC. The conglomerate pays the Walton heirs megamillions per year to continue to use the Walmart name.”

  34. I’m in the Midwest and do not notice much difference at Walmart. I am having trouble with our local Orscheln and Tractor Supply. Our chicken and dog foods are not regularly stocked. I also noticed a sign on the store front that there is a problem keeping woodstove pellets in stock and they are working with the manufacturer to resolve the issue.

  35. I am an hour away from Walmart or any large store here in North Central Montana. Sometimes I go to Walmart and it is well stocked and lately has been picked to the bones. Could be the weather or maybe I went early in the month when the food stamps are issued. I recall one time there was almost no bread and the frozen food shelves were sparse. The ripoff market in my town is always out of milk but has enough of most anything but double the price. A can of corn store brand is 1.19.
    That’s why we shop out of town

  36. I live an hour-ish south of Seattle. Four Wally’s stores, the Tacoma, Lakewood, and two Puyallup locations are hit and miss on whether they will have product in stock or not. It used to be called “shopping.” Now I think of it as, “Looking.” I’m looking to see if they have any of the approx. 15 items on my list. My list is always the same, as it is for items I cannot get at Costco. Finding an empty shelf has happened so many times on 5 particular items over the last two years, I have become conditioned to expect nothing there, and react with genuine surprise when I find something. I cannot attest to bread or other products, but in my personal experience, here are 5 hard to get items in South Puget Sound:

    Salt: 26 oz canisters of Morton or store brand
    Crystal Geyser Spring water: 1 gallon
    Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: 32 oz
    Strike on the Box Matches: 250 per box
    Nalley’s Beef Stew: 38 oz

    This is in reference to normal times. In winter, if snow is forecast, you can kiss your list goodbye.

  37. Why is anyone still shopping at WalMart? They have publicly announced their intent to limit the constitutional rights of Americans, have publicly sent letters asking legislators to regulate the 2nd Amendment and won’t allow citizens to exercise their rights in the stores. They have been an enemy of traditional America for a very long time – so why does anyone here support the business anyway?
    That said, my brother and his wife used to work at a Wally in rural Virginia. They were always running out of groceries but maintained massive amounts of shelf space for candy, junk food, and bottled water. The inventory management was easy – more people buy more junk _every single day_ than actual food so it was a priority. Running out of produce was common – its got a an expiration date and getting fresh in is expensive with very little sales.
    The local (north Idaho) Wally has a very large grocery section. It is easily 70% junk food and bottled water. So is the Super 1. And the Fred Meyer. People complain about it all the time. One more reason not to shop at the America hating super store.

    1. I can´t uderstand why anybody has the Right to carry legitimatly on other peoples property against their will.
      For Millennia a guest disarmed himself before entering another peoples house or town,

      1. Here, in America, we make the distinction between private property and public places. We have a Constitutional right to carry on our own property, or in public places — including parks and also travel in our private vehicles on public roads.

        1. Walmart is a public place and not private property?

          Cities like Abilene hadn´t the Right to to forbid non Citicens of the town to carry firearms in the cities, which Abilene did during the time “Bear River” Smith and Bill Hickock been the Marshal there.

  38. I live about 25 miles from Williston ND. The Wal-Mart there is mostly staffed with people who are there to pick up a paycheck. Not as bad as some Wal-Mart s I’ve seen, but they serve a population that has expanded by tens of thousands in the last couple years. Good help is hard to find.

  39. I patronize local businesses and will spend extra for made in USA items. Only desperation causes a purchase of foreign made item.

    Avalanche Lilly is correct concerning the bible’s prophecy. The NWO (Commies) plan is to create an atmosphere of distrust as well pushing the general population into controllable areas. They want crime. They want citizens that are incapable of protecting themselves. They want distrust of local law enforcement so that a central police agency is ASKED for.

    I could say more but to savvy SBlog folks it is obvious.

  40. W WI Super Wal-Mart, town of about 20k (hour east of Mpls/St. Paul), is also much like in the video but some things are in even shorter supply. I’ve noticed this going on close to 1.5 years now. I was there last night and I noticed two things right away, almost all of the pasta was gone, all of it, of all types. And some dairy items were completely out as well, sour creme being one of them. And huge open spots in many other sections. I also noticed that Fleet Farm, a local farm/ranch supply place is usually out of stock of 1/3 of the things you make the drive for. Many have given up on them and no longer shop there.

  41. Went to Walmart this morning and bought three 20 lb Butterball turkeys for $.50 lb. I do this every year after Christmas. I cook them and can the meat. I also make turkey broth and can it. Typically I get 7 quarts of meat with broth to fill and another 3 quarts of broth from each turkey. Typically I get a better price but also typically they are not the Butterball turkey. Not sure if I will be able to taste the difference in a canned turkey but I’m anxious to find out. For the two of us a quart of canned turkey can make three meals. including gravy from the accompanying broth. So I figure at least 30 meals (the entrée part of the meal) for $10. Thank you Walmart!

    Another thing I look for after New Years is a deal on a prime rib. I typically cut it into steaks and use the smaller scraps to add into our Top Ramen lunch. One year Fred Meyers had a really good price on bone in prime rib roasts, $4 and some change per pound. But it was one to a customer. So I bought one and went out to the car and put it away and took off my jacket and went and bought another. Took it to the car and put my jacket back on and bought another. Four all told. Cut it all up into steaks and froze them so we had awesome meals for a couple of months. Thank you Freddies.

    What food shortage?

  42. Thank you everyone for all the comments. It is fascinating to get the lay of the land on this subject from so many places all in one time frame.

    Walmart where I live is stocked just fine from what I have observed but I don’t shop there much.

    Something local that did disturb me recently though was Tylenol. Unfortunately my son and two of my grandsons are sick with sinus, ear, respiratory things right now. As are about half the people in my state it would seem. My son reported that the Urgent Care they went to was out of Tylenol. He went to a local chain pharmacy and they were very low.

    My wife has a friend who is a Emergency Management specialist for hospitals. Been doing it for 20 or 30 years. She keeps us up to date on how the hospitals locally are operating. Every year during flu season the hospitals here in our county fill to capacity.

    The emergency rooms are frequently full. Illustrating this in quite a tragic way, another friend of my wife went to the emergency room for severe stomach pain a few years ago. She was seen and some tests were performed but they did not have a room for her in any examination room so she ended up sitting in a crowded hallway waiting. The doctor came to her, knelt in front of her and apologized for having to tell her she had stage 4 pancreatic cancer while sitting in the hallway. She died less than a month later.

    It should be noted that medicine is one of the largest employers in our county. In my 35+ years of living here there has been huge construction of medical facilities. But they are not adequate to meet any type of surge or emergency. A stiff flu season fills all the beds.

    This was a bit off topic but we were essentially talking about how fragile the supply chain is with JIT management, etc. Medical appears to be equally fragile.

      1. Perhaps for some things but it would seem that production is adequate overall because after a crisis/surge/emergency shelves fill back up fairly quickly. We just don’t deal worth temporary surges in demand or interruptions in delivery very well in some cases. Not much reserve capacity. Everything optimized for the norm to keep normal state costs down.

        1. I wrote about Medicine/medical drugs only and the shelves don´t fill up automatically with the same Medicine quickly, Maybe it´s an äquivalent drug(which doesn´t necessary mean for Patient A drug C works as well as drug A for the same cause) and i don´t mean´t waiting for drug A a day for delivery

  43. RE” The delivery truck going down the highway to the next store”
    It doesn’t happen.
    Every store gets a trailer every night.
    One store, one truck
    The driver just switches trailers and goes back to the barn every night,
    Go behind any store on any day and you will see a 2-door dock with an empty trailer waiting to be switched.

    I live in NE IL.
    Lake cnty.
    Good Walmart country.
    Maybe 7 or more in a 15-mile radius of my driveway.
    Every store gets a trailer a night
    No matter how full or empty that trailer may be.
    If it is a “super” store with grocery’s it will be a 4-door dock with 2 empty trailers.
    The grocery side runs on a separate, but identical, concept.

    To my knowledge, that is a nationwide practice.
    It is a major factor in the decision to open a store or not.
    If a site cannot support a daily restocking, it doesn’t qualify for a store.
    The Williston site survey must have been done during one of the city’s: “boom” periods.
    It costs money to shut down a store, but Walmart will do it if the long-term re-survey is not good.

    For some back ground on my “expertise”
    I worked 3rd shift at a local store (assembling bikes, not as a regular re-stocking clerk.)
    But before that I was a regional salesman for barcode equipment in a 3-state area.
    (SE ½ of WI. Northern 1/3 of IL, and eastern 1/3 of IA,)
    I have been in and around a lot of stores.
    I have a son who worked 2 years as the trailer spotter at the local Walmart regional grocery distribution center.
    I have 2 grandsons working for Walmart
    One as a lift truck driver at that grocery distribution center, and one who transferred to a local store as a 3rd shift re-stocker
    All four of can cite the rule of one trailer a night.

    1. so Walmart is wasting money by perhaps sending half empty trucks to rural stores. Transportation costs are big for Walmart if they can cut them by reducing deliveries in more rural areas that for the most part have Dollar Generals or a Walmart I’m not so sure Walmart would want to give up that market share before exploring options in their operations. By the comments here it sounds like the those areas with lower population densities are having these inventory issues. If you want to call them that. Thanks for the insight but Lake County IL is far from a low population area.

  44. Lake cnty is not a low population area anymore
    But there was plenty of it in my sales area.
    And it did not have any Walmart’s
    It simply did not meet the criteria

    The trucks are rarely half empty.
    In fact every one has to go over a scale before leaving the distribution center to be sure they are not over weight.
    The third shift re-stocking crews have plenty to do.

    Dollar General is an entirely different ball game.
    Their target market is almost the polar opposite of Walmart’s.
    And store size, as well as purchasing/inventory/pricing strategy doesn’t compare

  45. I retired from a large chemical company about 7 years ago that makes plastic. We attended an info meeting in the early 90’s where they discussed the fastest-growing business that made the largest return on investment. The business was bottled water. Think about that a minute. I can hear my grandparents now. You went to the store to BUY WATER!!!!! Have you lost your mind?

  46. I live in Salt Lake County. I notice Walmart’s inventory on any specific food item is very limited. I can easily clean out an entire day’s inventory of say, Dinty Moore stew or spaghetti. Not much depth of product. If I want to buy case lots of food, Costco is my go-to place. Years ago, I bought rice a pallet at a time. Easier just to have the rice loaded into the truck with a forklift.
    When diesel was down to $1.42/gal, i would fill three 55 gallon steel drums and haul it to the property to pump into my 1,000 gallon tank. US DOT regulations allow three drums of diesel in a pickup without placarding. The attendant at my nearest Costco would “look the other way” when I filled up in the mornings, but eventually another attendant told me I could not fill drums. Store policy. Only up to six gallons, and they quoted local fire marshal edict. I showed him the US DOT reg, but he was not going to budge. No problem. I showed up an hour later with ten 6 gallon containers and a friend. I filled the small cans, and Mike dumped them into the drums as the attendant watched. Hey, what I do with the fuel once I dispense it into the smaller containers is my business. And thus I filled my 1,000 gallon tank without further delay.
    Never tell an American he can’t have something.
    As far as I know, no one starved to death in Salt Lake County because I purchased several pallets of rice. It’s America. They’ll make more.

  47. In central Texas, I haven’t noticed a food shortage outside of the holiday season norm. Although the past couple of months, at surrounding Walmart’s, I have noticed Ammo prices on almost all calibers went on rollback, and have been there for months, and so in general the ammo shelves are looking somewhat bare. I think this is Walmart hedging thier bets leading into an election year, clearing warehouse inventory in case a democrat gets in office. Just thought I would share this observation, all be it late. Have a happy, safe New Year, and God Bless.

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