Where we live, there are a number of supermarkets, large and small. I live just a few blocks from one of the largest, which is where I usually shop. They have the lowest prices in town and very good sales, and I can buy coupons that are only valid at their store in the Sunday paper. Generally speaking, I love this supermarket, because I can walk there, and they have a good selection. It’s a massive international chain, with stores all over the world. Ours is medium sized, not huge but definitely adequate for this city of 66,000.
When they have food, that is.
They haven’t had eggs for weeks. Chickpeas haven’t been available since we moved here in July 2011. The little label for them is there, in at least three different brands, but the chickpeas are missing. Same with the eggs. Yesterday when I went, they didn’t have a single package of plain old sugar. There was only one kilogram of all purpose flour! And I’m not talking about a particular brand – I mean they didn’t have any brand of these items. And yesterday they had almost no toilet paper.
If you want to talk about the inexpensive store brand, it gets much worse. They frequently don’t have their own milk, yogurt, dishwasher soap, and many more. I’ve only seen their brand of ‘Swiffer-style’ cloths once. I love their store brand – it’s very cheap compared to the name brands, the quality is just fine, and they have a remarkably wide selection of products, when they are able to keep them in stock.
We’re supposed to be in the middle of a deep economic crisis. People supposedly don’t have money. So what is going on?
I’ve stood in line behind enough people over the last months to realize that most people that shop at our store have switched over to buying the store brand, but that doesn’t explain the absence of the basics in every brand. I can’t explain it. Maybe people are stocking up on basic goods because they are worried about their ability to buy them in the future (I fall into this category myself). But none of these things explains the chickpea shortage. I visit the supermarket several days/week since last July, and there have never been chickpeas.
Why is our supermarket failing to stock basic food items that are never, ever reaching expiration date on the shelves? If they purchased more of these goods, they would sell. Why not do it and collect the profit? I don’t get it… and I also don’t get chickpeas and eggs 😦