A Grocer posts at the Hyatt Forum - Shortages Reported

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I came across this posting from the Hyatt Forum.

Ceejjay Member posted November 19, 1999 09:44 PM --------------------------------------------- I have been in retail for 25 years, the last 10 have been in the grocery business. I order and recieve 2 trucks per week. I am happy to recieve 90% or better under normal circumstances. Usually the shortage is minimal and replenished within a week. Nothing to ever worry about. Lately it has been very sporadic dropping somethimes to the 70-80%, bouncing back up. Let's say for instance I've ordered Benedryl 24ct gelcaps. It's been a month since I've recieved any. So to compensate, I order more of the 24ct tablets, I haven't recieved any gelcaps, so I fill the gap with tablets. Same stuff, just a different variation. This is not too noticable to the consumer. It's difficult for you, the consumer to see any real shortages YET because of all the different varieties for one product. When an item goes on allocation...It doesn't matter how many you order, you will still only recieve a minimal amount. Therefore I will order every truck to recieve my minimum, regardless if I need it or not. Just a little insurance, and I end up accumulating what I would have normally gotten in one order. Trick of the trade so to speak. And you the consumer haven't really noticed, while I sweat it out! Now, I have to tell ya, I have never in all my years been given a Problem Vendor Report..This just started coming across my desk 4 weeks ago.. So I have nothing to compare to for the past years. But I do have my memory, and it was never anything to worry about. So, when these reports started showing up, I was quite surprised that we were being given such valuable information. I thought "my oh my", I've got something here in writing, and look at all these big boys having problems. This is still early on , but in my opinion Non-Foods is going to be the first to start seeing any real shortages. Why? Because all the different components for a product come from a variety of different sources. Packaging from this vendor, ingedients from another, packaged or raw materials from overseas, etc. Those of us (non-food buyers) that were GI's from the beginning started taking precautions last year. In my little group of about 100 there was only a handful of us. (isn't that sad?) So last April, I decided for my store I would jump out and triple my pre-orders especially over the counter drugs. I decided to be WELL STOCKED for the 3rd and 4th quarter, just in case. These orders were filled and warehoused way back then, to be shipped to me now. I was laughed at by my co-workers back then, some even thought I was crazy to be commiting to so much inventory. I worried a little about what my superiors would say, but I did it anyway. Boy, am I glad I did. My coworkers are getting nervous, its hard to keep from saying "I told ya so" As new reports come in I will update you. Some will be taken off and others added, that seems to be the trend. And prices!!! Look out my cost is going up and so is yours. That alone VALIDATES all our preps. I was selling Crest regular toothpaste for $1.99, now its $2.59 The "after the movie scenerio" should be real interesting, all the major grocers are in a real panic themselves..We shall see what Monday brings. Until then..... Uncle Fred Member posted November 19, 1999 10:58 PM --------------------------------------------- Holy cow. You've put us members of the Hyatt Discussion Group right into front row seats, Ceejay. Let the narrative continue. I'm sitting on the edge of my seat. We all are Uncle Fred!

-- Mabel Dodge (cynical@me.net), November 27, 1999


To each his or her own but I think the guy is who he says he is and telling the truth. I've more than noticed the local store becoming increasingly odd. It's very visible if one is a regular shopper. One thing he mentions that hit nail on the head is that I had noticed in the store all the prices of the toothpaste had been jacked up. I'm not sure by how much. It wasn't hyperinflation in the toothpaste just an increase. It also looked like a cartel in that all the cheaper pastes sat in common at 1.99. (like Colgate) And as I've mentioned a billion times, now hyperinflation is starting to move in on the food. And I do mean hyperinflation.

-- Paula (chowbabe@pacbell.net), November 27, 1999.

Both the Family Dollar and Dollar General in our area are having problems with orders. Toothpaste, soap, medicated body powder, their brands of Benadryl, and Vicks. TP and Paper towels are still rolling in.


-- Taz (Tassie123@aol.com), November 27, 1999.

Mabel D. did not post Ceejay's entire post. I find the rest of her post to be very interesting. Please consider shortages due to the following:I have Problem Vendor Reports from the following companies.

Bristol Myers----Line constraints Revlon-----------Production problems Gilette----------Production problems/ having to obtain new packager Smithkline-------Production problems Warner-----------Raw material issue/bulk mfg small inventory (Benedryl) Playtex----------Raw material shortage/ problems with other mfg causing shortages Unilever---------manufactuer problems Carma Labs-------Production problems Medeva-----------Line constraints Kimberly Clark---all accounts on allocation S & W------------mfg out Proctor & Gamble-Suspended sale, product produced in Ukraine J & J------------Unable to obtain gelatin for geltabs (tylenol) Evenflo----------production and raw material issue

These problems are NOT for all products in their lines just specific ones ..Which would include shampoos, toothpaste, tylenol, benedryl, femine hyg, baby products, deodorants, hand lotion, etc..

Just a sampling of prior reports and new ones are coming in weekly. Giving us a general explaination as to why we are not recieving products that have been ordered. Most of them hope to have the product available by 12/31/99..... We shall see....

It gets more interesting each day..........

Ceejay did excellent work on this. Please go to the Hyatt forum and read the responses which are also excellent!

-- Ruth Edwards (REath29646@aol.com), November 27, 1999.

I keep a sharp eye every time I go to a grocery. Went to one today (not upscale) and noticed many "holes" on the shelves. But I kept rationalizing with pea brain, about Thanksgiving shopping. Until I came to the COOL AID shelves! A lot of bare spaces between brands, and it isn't even summertime here. Then I went to a slightly more upscale grocery, and saw no bare spaces! Go figure.

-- Sharp Eye (Tiredoflooking@shelves.com), November 27, 1999.

Please tryhttp://www.michaelhyatt.com/discuss/ubb/Forum14/HTML/002179.html

-- Ruth Edwards (REath29646@aol.com), November 27, 1999.

Like he said.. just the increase in cost validates the preps we have made. He's talking $2.59 for toothpaste... Ha! I must have 20+ tubes bought at 99 cents. Same with everything else... bought on sale a little at a time. People starting now don't have that luxury and will have to pay top dollar for everything they are lucky enough to find on the shelves. [still hoping the dog food will go on sale, but if it doesn't here real quick I will get it anyway... at least its only one item]

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), November 27, 1999.


Great post!

If you get a chance, I'd like more examples of price increases, different catagories, etc.

So many different levels to Y2K. Shortages (or price hikes) now probably have nothing to do with computer problems, it's just our actions based on a percieved threat. (Remember TP shortages of the '70's? (Oops 1970's I mean.)In other words, if we stop putting stuff away, the problem goes away.

One of my businesses involves construction cleaning behind major home remodelers. Last couple homeowners were Billionaires. No sign of preps there, no "secret rooms, no stores brought in, no gensets, no fuel tanks.

This may not mean anything either, but dumb people are seldom rich and rich people are seldom stupid. Money not being a factor, it's clear that in the rarified atmosphere of the truly rich, there are no Y2K thoughts in their minds.

Since we still aren't seeing any statistical wholesale price increases, the 60 cents on one item could be nothing but a narrow market trend, selling for what the market will bear.

You see, any of this price increase/shortage stuff NOW is not a Y2K problem, it's perception of possible Y2K problem by us.

-- Randers (coyotecanyon@hotmail.com), November 27, 1999.

Just In Time distribution will TOTALLY CHOKE when the masses suddenly decide to stock up at the last minute. Their earnest purchases will easily deplete the JIT inventories. And THEN what?

Waiting and more waiting for... Maybe, it'll be on the next truckload, we're not sure... We ordered it, so check back later...

Anyone who takes Y2K seriously is my cyberfriend. If you mock all of this, then you are an idiot and don't have my sympathy, although I will give you some free pure water if you cup your hands.

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), November 27, 1999.

We will wake up shortly and find out the next thing having production and delivery problems, complete with rising prices will be gasoline.

To bad for anyone caught away from home.

-- JIT (Justintime@rightnow.net), November 27, 1999.

We will wake up shortly and find out the next thing having production and delivery problems, complete with rising prices will be gasoline.

Too bad for anyone caught away from home.

-- JIT (Justintime@rightnow.net), November 27, 1999.

I am reading that these are production problems so they may well be Y2K related directly. Great find. Thanks you guys.

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), November 27, 1999.

JIT--You may be right about the gasoline prices going up. We were down in the Bay Area for Thanksgiving and the shell refinery wasn't even 1 mile down the road from the Shell gas station. For Super unleaded $1.73/gal, Mid-Grade $1.59, Reg. Unleaded $1.43, Diesel $1.61. For sure the price of everything will go up as the price of fuel goes up. We didn't buy the diesel because we thought we could get it cheaper closer to home. Wrong, we had to pay $1.63 a gallon for diesel. Went to K-Mart on Thanskgiving day and made a few cheap purchases, more TP and more paper towels. The store was packed and people were leaving with baskets filled with TP and paper towels.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), November 27, 1999.

Nongrocery items. Today in Long's Drugs I happened to notice a lot of red plastic gas containers and quite a bit of ammunition. Haven't noticed any shortages around here. Butte County CA is SO asleep

-- johno (jobriy2k@yahoo.com), November 27, 1999.

On topic, here are my observations of just the past 3 days in my city in Canada. Superstore: KLIK and KAM were $2.17, now $2.49 340 gram can Sardines, Connors, were $.73, now $.97 Spam, was $2.69 in quantity, $2.99 ea; now $3.69 Herring, Brunswick, 100 gram, was $.87; now $1.19

This as I said happened just this past week.Look at the % increase!

NOTE these are ALL handy, pre-cooked, canned survival items.Also, the fish is VERY nutritious--protein AND Oh-My-God 3 fatty acids.

BTW, most of hunting season(s) over around here, so it's NOT that! SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM... Will report back on beans, canned salmon, etc., as time permits.

-- profit of doom (doom@helltopay.ca), November 27, 1999.


Great Post. This kind of observation bears repeating so please keep posting threads during the next thirty+ days. Thanks

-- Dana (A_Non_O_Moose@xxx.com), November 27, 1999.

Here's a live link to

the "grocer spills the beans" page at Mike Hyatt's forum

-- John Whitley (jwhitley@inforamp.net), November 27, 1999.


Velly "interesting."



-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 28, 1999.

If anyone is wanting to watch gasoline prices closely in Western Canada, try gastips.com for daily prices at service stations in your area.

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), November 28, 1999.

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