DON’T PANIC: Empty shelves in South Dakota are normal during the winter
Local shoppers may have experienced an item or two that's not on the shelf but managers at local stores say it's no cause for concern.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — In extreme cases during the pandemic, empty shelves have made headlines.
It all started with a picture in Michigan, showing no toilet paper. Later it came with meat shortages around the U.S.
At first, experts pegged it as the case of panic buying. But recently, those same empty shelves have made their way back to local stores in the Black Hills.
Recently, all grocery stores in the area had products not on the shelf, most saying the issue deriving from weather complications in South Dakota that have slowed down freight shipments.
Those same stores including Safeway, Family Fare and Timmons Market have all said the issue happens every time major weather makes its way through the state. Although managers from Timmons Market say they haven’t faced it this year.
“It hasn’t affected anything as far as getting it here on time,” said Tristin Dollison, the Operations Manager at Timmons Market in Rapid City. “They’ve always showed up.”
Timmons Market in Box Elder says it hasn’t faced the shipping issues either but both locations said they’re facing a different one.
In the past, the store in Rapid City used to receive 80 to 90 percent of its order. Now, it’s received more like half. It hasn’t been to that extent in Box Elder, according to managers.
Combine that with problems with potential for future weather and shipping complications, and shoppers could see empty shelves for a short time.
“It just gets added on to our next truck, so if we didn’t get it yesterday then we’ll get it tomorrow,” Dollison said. “So typically nothing lasts for more than a couple days.”
All stores have said that their shipments and shelves are back to normal.