Those grocery store shelves that look full are only a ruse. An industry insider exposed the decoys and distractions retailers are using to keep consumers from panic. Transportation Minister Pete Buttigieg didn’t get his job done. While out on paternity leave, giving birth to surrogate twins, America’s supply chain snapped.
A ruse to boost confidence
Consumers need more confidence in the supply chain, retailers admit, so they came up with a ruse of simulating stuffed shelves.
It’s been reported, first by Inside Edition, that America’s grocery stores are “using decoys and cardboard cutouts of food to persuade customers that the supply chain emergency isn’t as grave as some think.” It’s worse.
Instead of empty shelf sections, some stores have resorted to “filling previously food-stuffed shelves with hordes of seasonal items in order to make up for the large gaps in product.”
They have even gone as far as “placing cardboard sheets of pictures of grocery items and price tags over bare shelves.” It’s all a ruse to hide shocking truth.
According to Retail analyst Phil Lempert, “retailers are attempting to stem panic shopping and quell fears that may lead people to begin hoarding items as they did in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Supermarkets don’t want you to see empty shelves. Instead they resort to ruse. “What a supermarket is trying to do is hide the fact that there are shortages. They don’t want to scare consumers at all.” Consumers scare easily and there goes the toilet paper.
More shortages coming
Lempert warns they “also want to prevent hoarding from take place the way it did in the beginning of COVID. We better get used to it. We’re gonna see higher prices, we’re gonna see more shortages, and frankly, we’re going to see retailers try even harder to be able to mask the fact that their store is empty.”
If one ruse doesn’t work, try another. It’s widespread across the industry too.
“It’s a tactic many stores are using to fill empty shelves at a time when the nation is experiencing major shortages of pretty much everything due to the supply chain crisis.”
Thank you Pete Buttigieg. Let’s Go Brandon! Other varieties of the ruse “include spreading out items of abundance in order to make up for empty space.” One Walmart had aisle after aisle of big plastic bottles used as coin banks, followed by several more of folding chairs.
Instead of keeping things in the warehouse, they bring out what they do have and put it all on display. Supply expert Bryan Roberts notes the ruse started even before there were mass shortages.
“It is not only because of shortages, but because a lot of the larger stores are now simply too big.” Along with cardboard cutouts, some stores are “filling meat fridges with bottles of tomato sauce or mayonnaise, spreading packs of beer out across whole aisles, and erecting large posters or other marketing material.”