It seems like we've seen endless shortages or disruptions in the supply chain during the pandemic. Everything from meat to Grape Nuts to Dr. Pepper has been affected, and now, we can add a few other things to the list. Costco is apparently running low on stock of some items—including certain cheeses and olive oils—because of a shortage in shipping containers.
CNN reported that Costco and some other retailers are being affected by the shortage, which is causing bottlenecks at some large ports on the West Coast like as Los Angeles and Seattle. Costco's CFO Richard Galanti confirmed the delays in a call with analysts last week and said that it was affecting foods like imported cheeses, seafood, and olive oil, as well as things like sporting goods and gardening equipment.
He clarified in the call that he expects "pressures to ease in the coming months, but it's impacting everyone." As a note, you should not use this as an excuse to panic-buy. As we said at the beginning of the pandemic, this does not mean stores will entirely run out of food or supplies; you might just not be able to get every single one of your favorites every single time.
Other retailers like Crocs, Dollar Tree, and Urban Outfitters are also being affected by the shortages, according to CNN. Experts cited several reasons for supply chain problems right now, including increased and unrelenting demand for certain foods and items during the pandemic, and even workers being sickened by COVID-19: "The supply chain has been maxed out," vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation Jon Gold told CNN.
These delays—combined with increased demand—have also caused a rise in costs, and while retailers are trying to avoid raising prices on shelves to offset it, some have already started to do so. The grocery industry as a whole has already seen such effects, with 2020 seeing the highest inflation in prices in nine years.
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