consumer goods in short supply

dallasannie

I ventured out to Joanns and to WM these past few days, for the first time since it all began.

I was so surprised to see how barren are the shelves! I have never seen retail like this before!


There was an article in the business media yesterday about the broken supply chains that we have depended on so heavily in these past few decades. This was especially true as our industry was sent to the third world and we came to depend so heavily on cheap and disposable items. Then, we got to depend on these same supply lines for durable goods, too.

Now, it is gettin almost impossible to buy some things.

Clothing and shoes have quit coming as they have and it is all like falling dominoes from the raw materials that have to be gathered, the factories, the shipping and the retail.

Brace yourself for some marked, or severe, shortages of many things. Many will probably not ever come back.


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Lucille


There was an article in the business media yesterday about the broken supply chains

I googled 'broken supply chains' and it certainly is what business people on the internet are talking about, but most of the articles have ideas and proposals. The situation seems to be treated as a challenge, and not a signal that the sky is falling.


I think we all have too much 'stuff'. It may be that the American chase after more cars, bigger houses, new clothes every year, etc. may be changing, and that may be a blessing in disguise.

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ci_lantro

First of the month may be part of it. Haven't been to Joann's in years but my WalMart has trouble keeping the shelves stocked even pre Covid. Maybe labor problems there but WMT does rely in 'just in time' delivery so I don't think there is much in the stockroom.

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Judy Good

Funny you posted this today, I do not shop much, rarely to be exact but I do frequent Dollar general because it is a quick in and out. Just came back and their shelves were bare in many area's. I thought maybe they were going out of business or something. Interesting subject.


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Raye Smith

Time to bring manufacturing back to the US. I'd rather have one well made thing that a bunch of poorly made things.

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chisue

Hmm...maybe I should not wait to order a new 4.5 front load washer. I think they are all made overseas now. My old one would need a fresh rubber gasket and a new belt (final spin is unimpressive). Oh, and the control board decides to flash through the 'stations' all by itself. I think I paid about $350 a dozen years ago. I'm sure to have sticker shock.

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maifleur03

This may have something to do with what was mentioned a couple of weeks ago over in HT. Apparently what is commonly called "long haulers" over the road truckers who are gone from home for weeks or months delivering stuff all over the country have been hard hit by the virus. It is probably a compound problem with shipments from overseas.

On a brighter note I went to the grocery store and the shelves were better stocked that they have been for some time except for the cleaning aisle. Lots of laundry soap and not much else.

Not certain if the store has given up or think things are safer although the number of cases and deaths are rising but the one way arrows on the floor have been removed. Very few were paying much attention

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Elmer J Fudd

"Time to bring manufacturing back to the US."

Are you willing to pay 40% more for those products? If you are, your fellow Americans aren't. The ever mounting pressure to reduce prices is what drove manufacturing jobs abroad for lower labor costs and they won't be coming back.

Aside from shoddy goods from sketchy and poorly managed third party contractors (getting to be less common than before), most foreign made products are significantly better made than US ones. That was true even when production was still here and had just started moving abroad.

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ratherbesewing

Were you looking for anything specific Dallasannie? The only thing I have had problems finding are hand soap and wipes.

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laceyvail 6A, WV

Canning supplies are totally unavailable--lids, jars, pickling salt.

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Cherryfizz

I was just thinking this morning thank goodness for the truckers/haulers that are still transporting goods back and forth across the Canadian/US border during this time. They really are essential workers

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joann_fl

Mayo at Walmart is scarce


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Lars

Very easy to make mayo if you have an egg, lemon juice or vinegar, and salad oil. I frequently make mayonnaise when I run out, and I made some last week. It's easier to make if you have a blender or stick blender, but you can also make it with a whisk.

I put a bit too much lemon juice in the last mayo I made, and so it was not quite as thick as I would want, but it tasted better. I have lemon trees, and so I do not have a shortage of lemons.

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dallasannie

Lacevail. some canning supplies was one of the things that I was looking for and the shelves were nothing but a few pilfered boxes of this and that, for anything related to canning.Nothing there but a mess of trashed out odds and ends.


I also needed basic cotton underwear. I did find one package that was the cut and the size in the brand that I wanted. Lots of empty spaces


Fabric department was devastated.


No bikes. I was hoping to see a little balance bike.

This was Walmart.

Joanns was surreal. It was so empty. Nothing but fleece and cheap trinkets. Ugh!


Have been trying to order something from Amazon for little grandson who will be two this month. So many things are out of stock.


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desertsteph

Time to bring manufacturing back to the US. I'd rather have one well made thing that a bunch of poorly made things.

yes, there's so much cr*p out there. I'd rather pay a bit more and have the $s stay here.


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maifleur03

I have to smirk as I can remember when cheap shoddy things were manufactured in the US and people were amazed at how well some of the products were manufactured in other countries, primarily Japan and Germany.

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Toby

Who's to say that manufacturing that comes back would be of the same quality we remember? Even the products that have always been made here are not the quality they used to be. Manufacturers are charging more for less, all to put more profit in CEOs' and stockholders' pockets.

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schoolhouse_gwagain

A local grocery store has a 24-roll pack of TP for $23.99. I was at CVS yesterday and they had something similar for $27.99 (!)

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Lucille

In my humble opinion, anytime soon, manufacturing is not going to come back. Not until a workable vaccine. Much manufacturing involves large indoor spaces with people close together. While that might work in other countries with respect, distancing, and masking of employees, the no maskers are going to keep the infection rate here high

. No matter what the work rule environment is, if the no-mask Americans all go out to the honky tonk and party after work they and their families and communities will get sick. Businesses are not going to shell out $$$ for creating new manufacturing if they can't get reliable healthy labor.

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wantoretire_did

We’ve ordered a new refrigerator from a local appliance/kitchen store. 8th on the list for who knows how many months. Also bought a dishwasher there, to be delivered today. Forget big boxes, sold out, don’t know when, don’t seem to care.

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NewEnglandgal

Fabrics are being bought out for mask making. I have been looking for Clorox spray and have trouble finding it. Hopefully things will slowly come back and people will not hoard like a few months ago.

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nickel_kg

On a happier note, I passed up buying TP the other day because it wasn't my preferred brand. Didn't notice the price. Did notice that it's mostly packaged as 4-packs. I like buying the 24-pack of mega-rolls in order to cut down on packaging. But I'm not going to be foolish -- when my stock gets low enough I'll buy whatever is on the shelf.

It is disconcerting to hear of gaps in our supply system ... change is being thrust upon us, where will it end, will we be as well off as before?

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dallasannie

wantotretire, you said that big box stores were sold out and don't seem to care.. I don't understand just what you expect these retailers to do.

Just who is that you think does not care? The sales people have no control over anything. The managers have no control over anything. The corporation (who ever that is ) have no control over things and there is really nothing that anyone can do about it.

And, what would it mean to care? In what way and who would be doing the caring? How would you know if any one cared or not?

I think your comment reflects the despair that so many feel.

I will tell you who probably does care. That would be those who are in charge of making sure that the retail corporation turns a profit. But, right now, customer satisfaction is probably not the highest priority. Right now there is probably concern over supply of product and supply of customers to purchase it.

The folks in the store can't promise or predict anything that they have no control over..

We are all feeling our way down this road with very little vision. Your concern, or anyone's concern, about demonstrated care is probably is the last thing that the sales people are going to give a personal care about.

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dallasannie

Lucille, US businesses are not going to do manufacturing in this country because they don't want to pay living wages and respect environmental restrictions. It is not covid that is keeping things from being made here. This lack of domestic manufacturing did not just happen these last few months.

I certainly came to the fore when it became painfully obvious just how dependent we are on foreign third world labor.

I agree with what some others have said about a willingness to pay more for a better product and to buy fewer junk items. But, there is no profit to be made that way. The consumer powers that be have to keep us buying cheap and awful stuff that quickly becomes either obsolete, or irrepairable so that we are inspired to keep buying more and more.

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Lucille

It is not covid that is keeping things from being made here.

It is now.

Even now environment restrictions are unfortunately being eased, and I suspect that people will work for lower wages when unemployment dries up and many businesses have closed and jobs lost. The world balance that drove business elsewhere to seek labor is changing.

But businesses are not going to shell out $$$ for creating new manufacturing (and jobs) if they can't get reliable healthy labor. So those 'independent' freedom loving no-maskers are shooting themselves in the foot.

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Toby

I agree, dallasannie. U.S. businesses that manufacture overseas will never be pro-worker and pro-environment. Three years ago, Trump gave American businesses tax and deregulation incentives to move their factories back to the U.S. and still, they did not. Even he didn't move his manufacturing back. MAGA??

When we vote pro-business at the national level and elect a businessman for president, this is what we are supporting. The crap merchandise that falls apart, the destruction of our environment, local retail driven out by the big box stores and the death of Main Street, low wages that force workers onto food stamps, and huge profits for CEOs and shareholders.

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maifleur03

Lucille you are apparently forgetting the manufacturing jobs that you think people will return to are simply not in this country. It can take a long time to build a factory and then where do they get the raw materials to build things. Perhaps in 5-10 years it may happen but only after raw materials are sent to newly build factories in this country.

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joyfulguy

Could be shooting this old fart in the foot, too - damn it!

It'd cost a lot of freight to ship an Asia-built fridge here ... and how long do your locally-built ones last?

Ten years?

The first refrigerators for homes were built less than a hundred years ago. Many of the ones built 60 and 70 years ago lasted for 40 years: are modern engineers that much more stupid?

As millions join the middle class in third world countries and wanting fridges ... and with world population having gone from 1 billion to 7 billion in a few hundred years where are we to find the resources?

And deal with the warming and pollution from all of that mining, smelting, manufacturing and shipping?

ole joyful - who ain't covid-related sick ... yet.

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wantoretire_did

Attitude. Good grief, dallas Annie. I dont expect anything. I’m perfectly aware of what has happened and that it will be with us for a long time.

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Elmer J Fudd

"US businesses are not going to do manufacturing in this country because
they don't want to pay living wages and respect environmental
restrictions."

Businesses exist to profitably provide products and services and give jobs to people who contribute to doing so. They listen to their customers to meet the needs of their markets. There were two main reasons why manufacturing left the US. The first was overly inflated wages paid to essentially unskilled factory workers made labor costs excessive. The result was products priced higher than customers wanted to pay and a need to find lower cost structures to reduce prices to what customers wanted. If you want to point a finger as to who was responsible for manufacturing leaving the US, the next time you do price comparisons for large goods, or for cars, or for groceries, or buy items at places like Walmart or Costco, look around and in the mirror and you'll see the cause. You're not an isolated cause, we all are responsible.

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Lucille

Lucille you are apparently forgetting the manufacturing jobs that you think people will return to

Maifleur I think you may have misunderstood, or perhaps I did not put it well, my whole point is that businesses are NOT going to revive manufacturing here. Some of the issues that led companies to look for labor elsewhere are undergoing changes, but not enough to save the day.

"In my humble opinion, anytime soon, manufacturing is not going to come back. "

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nickel_kg

I realize this is a drop in the bucket, but you can find socks and bedsheets that are made in the USA from USA-grown cotton and wool. The brands I'm familiar with do cost more, but are high quality, long lasting products compared to what I'd buy at a big box store.

eta: It might not be the big splashy products that brings 'making things' back from overseas. That might be okay, if we can at least support some local skilled hand labor.

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dallasannie

yes, it is but a small drop in a big bucket. Barely enough to be noticeable.

If you would care to share I would like to know where you are buying bedsheets that are made in America. I am really curious.

I have one top sheet left from decades ago when cotton was just cotton and not some sateen weave and there were no microfibers. It is just a plain weave muslin cotton and it feels so very very good. It is a comforting feel that I remember from my younger years. I love it. Just one I have left. I dislike so many of these modern sheets. They seem to either be of poor quality weave or are made of synthetics.

I have American made socks. I knit my own! Yarn for a pair of socks might run you around $25 to $50 for a pair of socks. I mostly try to find a sale or a bargain. Socks are my weakness. I love them and I love to knit them. So it in not just socks that I have spent money on, it is also an activity that gives me peace.

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nickel_kg

Sure dalllasannie, it's Red Land Cotton. I haven't bought them yet, but a queen set will be my Christmas present to myself this year. (And I probably better get ordering soon)

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nickel_kg

Also look up: American Blossom Linens

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rob333 (zone 7a)

Empty shelves this morning? I often find it interesting...


I noticed ramen and vegetable oil were empty. I asked son his thoughts and he JOKINGLY said, someone must be touting a new cure for COVID, veggie oil and ramen. That's funny and not funny

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Elmer J Fudd

Clever kid you have, rob. It is funny - humor like that is the sign of having functioning grey matter. He's thinking and connecting dots, whether they're there to connect or not.

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olychick

Here is another source of USA made sheets and other bed/bath items. I bought a comforter set from them several years ago and they are wonderful

https://authenticity50.com/collections/best-sellers


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dallasannie

nickel, I took a look at RedLand and it is no wonder that they are doing good business.

Sheets such as they are producing used to be the just the very basic cotton sheets in the decades past.

I love the percale weave and I absolutely grew to have nothing but disdain for those high thread count sateen weave things. Now I know why it is that is that I grew to dislike them and why I love the simple percale. When they began to show up in microfibers I drew a line that I will not cross as long as I have a choice.

There is a nice explanation of facts about sheets that they offer on the website and I totally agree with them about the bogus terms that gets applied when marketing consumer goods. You have to educate yourself. There is so much dishonesty and distortion in advertising and marketing.

I love my percale sheet! I treasure it. It feels so good!

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ci_lantro

Kohl's Big One sheets are a nice compromise for those who don't want to pony up $200 for a set of sheets. 60/40 cotton & polyester. Generous in size, sturdy, actually on the thick side, not super thin, don't pill, long wearing. Not quite the percale from years ago but still a nice sheet/ good buy. Great buy actually. Right now, you can get a queen set on sale for under $35.

I bought 2 sets back a few months ago--Black/ White Geo for my son and Dots for me. He's happy with the sheets and I love the Dots pattern. I'm going to pick up another set in the Blue Trellis pattern.

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loonlakelaborcamp

Canning lids are nowhere to he found on the shelves here.

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joyfulguy

This covid issue is contributing to the centralizing of business, for as many are close to going broke and selling at distressed prices, the large ones with dollars in their jeans are getting major increased assets at bargain prices.

Corporations love competition - among their their suppliers, so they can bargain down the prices of their raw materials.

They love the work being done by machines, for they don't seek higher wages or safer working conditions. And the unemployment caused by the machines means that large numbers of job seekers will be less demanding.

They love it among their customers, for large numbers can't set prices and as the number of suppliers in the marketplace is reduced, their power in the market increases.

Tough on governments though - for as the machines result in 100 employees doing the work that used to need 500 ... the governments lose 400 taxes formerly paid by individual taxpayers.

Nickel ... by the kilogram ...

... better get ordering those selfie Christmas present sheets soon - it's just a bit over four months till Christmas!

ole joyful

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Kathsgrdn

Got an e-mail yesterday that my bread machine that I ordered back in April is now not coming in August but in September.

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maifleur03

At this point with that bread machine unless it is a special model I would be looking for another and order it. Accept the first one that is received in good condition. Then cancel the order on the second. If already shipped you can decide if you want a second one. Have someone to gift it to. Return it. Open box and make certain it is fine and as advertised. If you plan on making sweet breads along with regular type having a second one is good.

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functionthenlook

We just bought a camp up north and need to stock it with the basic necessities, nothing fancy. . I am finding things that were so common to find before are not so easy now. I couldn't find a plain old cheap white plastic flip top garbage can for the kitchen. Luckily the previous owner left one. The toaster shelf at Walmart was 3/4 bare. A freak-en plastic paper towel holder that mounts under a cabinet was hard to find. My daughter found one for me at Walmart when we were on vacation. I ordered a single and king platform bed frames from Amazon with no problems. They came in two days and I really like the frames. I went to order two full size of the same frame and now the delivery date is Sept 9th. So now I have to buy different frames so we have something for family to sleep on when they come up for the labor day weekend. I guess I should feel lucky that the mattresses are still available.

The camp came with mini blinds which I dislike, so I'm replacing them with shades. My home depot only has 5 in stock. I have to travel to a different HD that has 15 in stock. I also need to pick up towel bars for the bathrooms while I'm there. Wonder what kind of selection they will have on them?

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dallasannie

All manner of small everyday things are becoming hard to find

The reality is that many of these things are things that are not essential and have been overly consumed and discarded in normal times. So many little doodle things that we think we need, we really don't.

But, for this demise of ordinary but not essential things to decrease like this is not healthy, of course. Better that it had come as a result of enlightenment, awareness and concern for our live and environments, rather than as a result of global breakdown and death. I wanted it to happen, but not like this. I take no pleasure in this.

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nickel_kg

Someday someone will write a book about Covid19's impact on consumer goods, supply, and logistics. All sorts of fascinating, unexpected wrinkles are occurring.

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