Observations at the Local Wal-Mart!

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Hi Folks!

During the past several weeks I've been keeping an eye on our local Wal-Mart for several reasons. The first stems from the display of blue water barrels in the lawn and garden section. These were sold out within 2 days! What got me was that the store had huge signs plastered all over them with Y2K Water preparedness Item. Since then, they have'nt had any more in the store.

Next reason: During the past week they had the small propane tanks on sale for $1.88 a tank. These sold out in one day!

Next reason: Also during the past week they had Campbell's chicken noodle soup on sale for .50 cents a can. Bought one case, then went back the next day and the entire shelf was empty!

Next reason: For the past month the shelves that contain the gallon jugs of water has been empty each day!

This morning I made another trip to Wally-World, while I was there I re-checked all of these areas and they're still bare! So, being the straight-forward concerned paying consumer,I sought out one of the stockers and inquired as to why certain items were not being restocked in a timely manner. She was very nice about my concerns and as we walked around the store she explained to me that during the past several months they were having some problems keeping the shelves stocked up. So, I asked what kind of problems? She said that they were not recieving their deliveries from the warehouses and other vendors in a timely manner. I thanked her for her help and suggested that maybe this should be brought up at the next employee/management meeting, customers asking about empty shelves, customers wanting to spend money in the store, but no product!

The moral of the story, if our JIT inventory system can't keep up now when so few of us are preparing, how in the world will they keep up when the rest of the population awakes?

Also, the rest of the moral goes like this, when you see a good buy, don't wait till the next day, it'll be gone!

-- Ex-Marine (Digging In@Home.com), August 01, 1999


Chubby hubby and I spent some time and money in WalMart today. There were lots of empty shelves, but not of things that I would call prep items. All the crackers (Saltines) were gone. No pinapple juice. Anything in the line of Gatorade was gone. The latter could be due to heat wave. Plenty of beans and rice. As usual I scanned everyone elses carts and saw no one with much. Mostly meat, beer, chips, soda, etc. However, we went to Ryans for dinner (a Chain in the SE) and there was a sign on the door apologizing for having only one cash register and inability to take credit cards.

Taz...who is getting nervous!

-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), August 01, 1999.

I wonder if you live in the town I live in (somewhere in northern California). Identical experience here at Wal Mart. Some lady bought the last 3 water barrels while I was walking through the garden center door. They got 20 barrels in a week ago and they were all snatched up fast!

-- easy come easy go (easycomeeasygo@easycomeeasygo.com), August 01, 1999.

Okay, I'll confess. I bought all the Hormel canned chicken at the new Gristides here. One of you is probably wondering where the damn tins went.

My friend was panicking one day, certain that other preppers had bought out her favotie foods she has been storing. A few days later she realized that she had been the one to buy the last of everything. The stores just didn't restock. They restock according to a schedule that was okay for the old buying habits, not for the last half of 1999.

My sister had some trouble ordering cases of Evian in Florida and here (NYC), the Poland Spring people are having shortages. I'm starting to worry about water...

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWAyne@aol.com), August 01, 1999.

And I thought that the problems we have been having here on Kaua'i were due to the dockworkers' slowdown on the west coast...

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), August 01, 1999.

I keep an eye on Wally World and others as well. Went there this am, loaded with people, the shelves by the entrance with their 'specials' were empty! Tried to find plastic 20 gal plastic totes, gone, camping section looking for port a pottys, none. Never did have any water barrels. Things looked rather skimpy, maybe just because it is Sunday? Did get a good buy on extra toilet seats for the 5 gallon buckets to use, found a great buy for Oak ones $5.97 (not so cold to sit on, gotta have our comforts ya know, hehehe), but they were the cheapest ones in the place. Will keep an eye out for trends...

-- Sammie Davis (sammie0X@hotmail.com), August 01, 1999.

Our Wally's up here hasn't had any water barrels at all, at least none that I've seen. About a month ago, they had a nice batch of wall-mount oil lamps for cheap; I grabbed two, because we have several them already. But no wicks! And no lamp oil!

This past Friday I was back again. Now only a few standard glass lamps, lots of red oil (I took the last 6 bottles of clear smokeless oil) and since there were 6 packages of wicks left, I took those too.

I'm sorry. Sort of. Sort of thrilled to have gotten my mitts on them, too.

-- Arewyn (isitthatlate@lready.com), August 02, 1999.

Hello from Northern CA,

I am about 1 hour north of Sacramento and our Walmart seems fully stocked with the above mentioned items.... never have seen water barrels here though. Yesterday bought more canning jars (chicken, chicken and more chicken...) noticed that the cheap "Golden Harvest" brand were not to be found so forked over the big bucks for the Kerr jars. At the grocery store am still finding BBQ charcoal for $1.78 per 10 pounds, 7 day candles for around $1, lots of TP available on sale, $.48 name brand beans and $.28 mac/cheese.

On a side note I am noticing that there are more GI women than men around here - typically the woman says "Well I have been worrying/buying/stocking (you choose) but (insert hubby name) thinks it is all hype/a joke/will be ok because THEY are working on it..... Hmmmmmmm......

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), August 02, 1999.

Greetings from Kansas!

Hubby and I had to visit 3 different WalMarts this weekend in order to make our weekly water run. At 2 stores, the water was completely sold out of all kinds (spring, drinking, 'nursery', and distilled). By the time we were at the 3rd store, we were really getting 'antsy'. Last store had 15 gallons up on the very highest shelf, out of reach for most shoppers, I suppose.

We noticed end cap displays of Coleman fuel and a pre-packaged set of two oil lamps and a big jug of oil (Lamplighter Farms). Toilet paper aisle in all stores was stocked "OK" -- not abundantly, but there was some on the shelves, although not like it 'used' to be.

-- Wilferd (WilferdW@aol.com), August 02, 1999.

Kristi: If you are 1 hour north of Sacto, go to Winco (formerly Waremart) in Yuba City or Chico. They have the 3 lb. canned chickens cheap! I have found that store to have excellent buys on canned goods.

-- thriftspender (thriftspender@thriftspender.com), August 02, 1999.

Here in Mo. our Aldi store is really getting alot of new stock...many different types of fruit now--apricots,applesauce,mandarian oranges. Had a huge display of plastic storage bins of all sizes. Mopuntain of TP in 12 pks. More choices of canned entres like beef and gravy and chili with meat...got a new manager...maybe he is a GI !!

-- MUTTI (windance @train.missouri.org), August 02, 1999.


I am in Y.C. and my email is real! I appreciate the tip - I shop Winco weekly - that's where those prices were from. Re: Chicken - I have to do in 5-7 crowers every few weeks right now and keep simmering the carcasses, packing the meat and canning the rest as broth or making soup. I can't stand to waste it. E-mail if you would like to chat.... are you from around here?

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), August 02, 1999.

I live in Orland and shop the Chico Walmart and Winco plus Costco. I have been happy with most of the products available. I have not seen any water barrels or large canned chickens. Winco does have hard red wheat in 25 lb bags just ask for it in the produce department. They also stock or can order for you most of the items found in the bulk containers in the produce- Pd milk, flour, dried potatoes and so on.

-- Homeschooling Grandma (mlaymon@glenn-co.k12.ca.us), August 03, 1999.

FYI. At lunch today, I checked out the local Walmart and the Sam's Club next door and noted the following.

Both stores are fully stocked in every isle. Even had oil lamps, oil,wicks, etc. Lots of comping supplies and propane tanks. All regularly available food well stocked. No water barrels or grinders at either store. Lots of 50# and 20 # bags of rice and 10# bags of beans. Didn't see anyone else with Y2K type supplies (just me). Stores are located in west central North Carolina. Will check out a couple of others and post here if there's anything worth posting.

-- (southeastern@my-deja.com), August 04, 1999.

Greetings from Vermont. Our WalMart is tiny- by WalMart standards. Never has had blue barrels. doesn't carry food beyond basic cookies, crackers and juice type items. When I've been there- fully stocked on camping stuff, lanterns, propane tanks, etc- canning stuff was going fast though- although this is a big canning area. Gas cans going fast too.

-- farmer (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), August 06, 1999.


In northwestern Ohio my local Wal*Mart refuses to stock the famous blue water barrels. They won't because that's SAM's line. SAM's is an hour's drive away, so I don't go there.

This is a small Wal*Mart and doesn't have much in the way of food. No rice, beans and other bulk items are available.

If this store expanded, the selection would increase, but they are not expanding here.

JIT inventory/distribution really sucks! When something is sold out, sometimes weeks pass before it is restocked, mainly because their central warehouse was out of it and had to wait for new shipments.

I'm currently waiting on a K-Mart raincheck for canned sardines and herring. Since July 12th.

With JIT about ten days passed before K-Mart was able to restock their normal JIT allotment. However, I was told that because K-Mart had a large request for the canned fish, they were experienced shortages from their suppliers.

JIT is the pits. And these are the good days!

The American masses are going to get screwed big time when they realize they can't all stock up simultaneously.

-- Randolph (dinosaur@williams-net.com), August 08, 1999.

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