Empty Shelves

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I was visiting with someone while taking my kids trick or treating on Halloween about how shelves at the Dollar Store are becoming empty. Dollar General told me that they haven’t had a truck in two weeks so we all need to be understanding of the situation. I also visited with Kessler’s and they are having trouble getting some products in and when they get them in, they disappear off the shelves very quickly. I am sure the others are having troubles also but wanted to give a couple examples. Now is the time to get creative when shopping local. 

Why are the shelves empty? While previously the blame was pointed towards pandemic-driven panic buying for necessity goods like toilet paper and water bottles, this new situation is driven by supply-side shortages stemming from reduced manufacturing output, decreased labor, and most importantly, enormous shipping delays.

Shopping local while the shelves are empty takes some creativity. My first piece of advice is check everywhere- Rexall Drug, Ace Hardware, Clothes Garden, Polly’s, Kessler’s, Dollar Store, Oakley Farm and Ranch Supply, the Vet Clinics for pet supplies, and everywhere else in town that might have what you need. You might be surprised what you can find. And don’t forget to visit with the owners or managers about what they have and what they can get in. They want you to understand what’s going on and maybe they can order something in that isn’t on the shelf. It might not be the exact brand, but its what you need and our community needs you to shop local. Studies have shown that local businesses recirculate a greater share of every dollar as they create locally owned supply chains and invest in their employees. Data shows that local retailers return 52 percent of their revenue back into the local economy, compared to just 14 percent for national chain retailers

Shopping online is the second-best option. If you can’t find it locally, its better to buy online than to drive to Pierre or Huron to Walmart. Why? Miller collects the sales tax if it is delivered to Miller. Plus, if you drive to Huron to Walmart, you might find that their shelves are just as empty and you wasted gas and time making an unnecessary trip. Plus, you will spend unnecessary money out of town that could have gone back into our local economy.

The biggest thing to remember right now is to be patient and kind when shopping. Show gratitude to those employees who have showed up and are trying their best with the products that they have. This goes for restaurants, bars, and other businesses also. They are having trouble getting products in that are normally on their menu and they are doing the best they can do.

Try your best to shop local during this challenging time. Remember to think local first because we need people to continue shopping local and help our community thrive. Be patient and kind because these businesses and employees are doing the best they can do with these empty shelves.

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