Grocery stores struggle to keep shelves stocked ahead of winter - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Grocery stores struggle to keep shelves stocked ahead of winter storm

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Before the winter storm arrived in Northeast Arkansas, grocery stores had a tough time keeping their shelves stocked of certain items.

Potentially icy roads and the threat of power outages sent customers into a buying frenzy, snatching up everything from bread and bananas to milk and muffins.

Bread became especially scarce at the Hay's grocery store on Gee Street in Jonesboro. People that came to the store late Thursday morning found only empty bread shelves and assurances that more would come in a couple of days.

"Yesterday, we had about six racks [of bread], and we went through all those within about three hours," Garrett Combs, the store's assistant manager, said. "First thing this morning around 7, he brought in about four racks, and he stocked all of them. At about 10:30 [a.m.], we sold out of almost all that within just three or four hours of time."

Combs said customers have bought up bread much faster than the store anticipated, but suggested that's because so many people have picked up multiple loaves at a time.

"I had a lady earlier, I think she had about six loaves," he said. "She said she expected to be out a week or so, so she wanted to make sure she had plenty of that stuff there."

In addition to bread, customers have quickly cleared out the store's milk and egg supplies, too. These food items are not the only things in short supply, so are the shopping carts apparently.

"At one point yesterday," Combs said, "I think we had one cart left in the store, and we had to run out and gather them in. We realized everybody was using them, and we didn't have any to spare at the moment."

Customer Scarlett Yates of Brookland luckily got bread as well as everything else on her lengthy shopping list. At this point, however, she is more concerned about losing power than getting enough food to fill her cupboards for the next few days.

"As long as I can keep my electricity, I don't care if I'm snowed in or iced in for weeks," Yates said. "As long as I have electricity, I'm good."

If people want to buy milk, bread or eggs at least at Hay's on Gee Street, they may be out of luck until the weekend. Employees said the earliest they can get another truckload of bread in is Saturday.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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