Whether you're planning a full redesign of your space for the fall or you're just looking to upgrade your appliances, Home Depot is one of the most popular home improvement retailers in the U.S. Millions shop at these stores every day to find the products they need—and maybe to pick up a few items they didn't even know they wanted. But don't get too comfortable. Like a number of other retailers, Home Depot is struggling with inventory issues, and an impending event might put what you need out of stock. Read on to find out why one store manager is telling shoppers "don't wait till the last minute" to do this one thing.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Home Depot Employees.
All retailers struggle to keep certain products on shelves.
The state of inventory for retailers has been a rollercoaster over the last couple years. Inflation has recently created overstock troubles for many companies, who are being forced to move products to storage facilities, while ongoing shortages are still leaving some items consistently out of stock.
Home Depot in particular has faced ongoing inventory setbacks. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the home improvement retailer struggled alongside many others to keep lumber in stock, and at a reasonable price, as a lumber shortage overtook the country. In less pressing news, Home Depot shoppers have expressed their disappointment over the fact that the retailer's iconic 12-foot skeleton is already sold out across the country, despite Halloween still being an entire month away.
Now, a Home Depot manager is trying to alert people about another potential stock issue that's a little more serious.
You may need to stock up on certain items now.
It's essential for shoppers to take note of circumstances that could affect the inventory at their local Home Depot store. Dexter Pinto, the manager at the Home Depot on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach, Florida, recently told local NBC-affiliate WPTV that every year, hurricane season diminishes the stock in his area and other nearby locations. The result is many essential storm supplies selling out.
The Atlantic hurricane season in the U.S. runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). But the peak occurs in mid-September, with most hurricane activity happening between mid-August and mid-October.
Many supplies sell out during this time.
The U.S. is currently bracing for Hurricane Ian, which is headed toward Florida and is expected to make landfall in the state by midday Thursday as a Category 3 or higher, ABC News reports. Pinto is seeing a troubling pattern ahead of the storm: customers coming in looking for supplies that are already sold out.
"It's best if you go over that hurricane checklist and make sure you're checking those things off days in advance," Pinto told WPTV. According to Home Depot's own Hurricane Guide, some of the essentials you might need during this time include extension cords, plastic tarps, flashlights, and generators.
"No matter how severe the weather, The Home Depot is there. We can assist your hurricane preparedness with plywood, tarps, flashlights and batteries," the retailer states on its website. "Our emergency item checklist offers ideas that not only help enhance your family's safety and security but also help you build a disaster kit to prepare your home for when nature serves up its worst."
You shouldn't wait until the last minute to buy storm supplies.
As people in Florida prepare for the potential disaster of Hurricane Ian, Pinto told WPTV that he has one piece of advice for those looking for storm supplies: "Just don't wait till the last minute," he said. "Get in as early as you can."
According to the Home Depot manager, there are certain things that are important to make sure you have on hand. "Really, hurricane hardware and screws, things like that, are sometimes the things people tend to forget," Pinto told the news outlet, noting that customers are often short screws or wing nuts for their shutters, or have batteries that don't work for their flashlights. He added that people should check their generators before the threat of losing power becomes more imminent.
"Get in as early as you can. We've got a lot of knowledgeable help in the stores, a lot of associates that are willing to get down and help," Pinto added. "Come in as early as you can and prep beforehand, don't wait until the last minute."