Simply put I believe the major retailer in question is doing their part to limit the ability of rural America to be sufficiently prepared. Nevertheless, we are wise to do our best to keep ahead of the curve. God bless your efforts, Steve.

I'd like to tailgate on the SQ Alert "based on my experience..." regarding stock levels in big box stores. This weekend we were in two such stores, each in fairly isolated communities which are easily the communities' best source for acquiring grocery items in quantity.

I myself worked in retail (meat) for thirty years so I know exactly what a well stocked store looks like, understand the key categories and category drivers, and how shelves are stocked and displays are built to drive sales and profits. I also understand supply chain and distribution methodologies quite well.

Each of the stores we were in were woefully under-stocked. This time of year-the few weeks following the holidays-is usually big business in groceries and low stock levels suggest either poor ordering at the store level, poor purchasing at the distribution level or a purposeful desire to be under-stocked.

Anyone familiar with the retail grocery industry is also familiar with how highly touted "the big box store's" infrastructure is. They know exactly when demand is high and for what items and in what quantities. It is very unlikely that both stores somehow got "surprised" by unusually high demand. It is reasonable then to imagine that low stock levels in rural areas with few options is a purposed endeavor to assure that both the budget conscious and the folks in more remote areas are not fully able to load up their pantries.

Simply put I believe the major retailer in question is doing their part to limit the ability of rural America to be sufficiently prepared. Nevertheless, we are wise to do our best to keep ahead of the curve. God bless your efforts, Steve.

Jan 25, 2016

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