Store shelves across New Jersey remain empty due to several factors
Many New Jerseyans may have noticed that many stores in the state are struggling to stock their shelves.
The shortage is due to a combination of ongoing shipping and supply chain issues, bad weather in parts of the country slowing down deliveries, staff shortages and the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Every industry has been hit hard, including grocery stores.
“What we’ve been seeing and hearing is there are shortages of various products at different places – really scattered,” says David Dreyfus, assistant professor of supply chain management at Rutgers Business School.
Dreyfus says that there are still international shipping problems causing supply chain issues. But he says that Omicron is making things worse industry-wide.
“All those people involved in making sure these items make it to our retails places or to the places we may order items online – it’s slowing down because there just isn’t enough labor to keep the same momentum we are used to,” Dreyfus says.
The lack of items may depend on where one lives or shops.
“Ask friends or neighbors going to the store to look for items that may be at a different store. You could of course call the store and see if they have a specific item in stock,” Dreyfus says.
Consumer experts also advise customers to be open to buying different brands or to wait it out until the item is back in stock.
Dreyfus says that a faster solution is up to the companies who make and send products to the stores.
“Be a little more strategic about sending supplies to more places – but less of them. Maybe not fill all orders to 100%, but send them something so everybody has a little bit of something,” he says.
Some industry analysts predict these shortages will result in price increases on many popular items.