retail news in context, analysis with attitude

From the Wall Street Journal:

"Grocery stores and food companies are preparing for a possible surge in sales amid a new rise in Covid-19 cases and the impending holiday rush.

"Supermarkets are stockpiling groceries and storing them early to prepare for the fall and winter months, when some health experts warn the country could see another widespread outbreak of virus cases and new restrictions. Food companies are accelerating production of their most popular items, and leaders across the industry are saying they won’t be caught unprepared in the face of another pandemic surge."

Some examples:

•  "Southeastern Grocers LLC secured holiday turkeys and hams over the summer, months before it normally starts inventory planning, said Chief Executive Anthony Hucker.

•  "Grocery wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. has loaded up on extra inventory of cranberry sauce, herbal tea and cold remedies, said President Chris Testa."

•  "Associated Food Stores recently started building 'pandemic pallets' of cleaning and sanitizing products so it always has some inventory in warehouses, said Darin Peirce, vice president of retail operations for the cooperative of more than 400 stores. The company is establishing protocols so it can better manage scenarios of high demand."

•  "Ahold Delhaize USA, SpartanNash Co. and others say they are buying more food as soon as they can, stocking warehouses with wellness and holiday items. Many retailers are expanding distribution capacity, augmenting warehouse space and modifying shifts.  They say they want to be ready for a potential Covid-19 surge that experts are warning could hit as soon as this fall, as daily reported cases are increasing again in many states after falling in the summer. More than 200,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S."