Local supermarket prepares for Thanksgiving holiday in midst of supply chain issues

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As the holiday season nears, various products that shoppers purchase for Thanksgiving dinner are being impacted by recent national supply chain issues as well as higher costs of production. 

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, this includes many Thanksgiving staples including turkey and packaging for various products like cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. 

Officials with United Supermarkets are seeing the supply chain issues impact their stores within the Texas Panhandle. However, officials stress that items will be available for shoppers to purchase in time for Thanksgiving festivities Thursday. 

Everyone should be able to get the (necessary) items that they need for their Thanksgiving holiday,” Paul Evans, the regional vice president of operations at United Supermarkets, said. “We’ve been dealing with this supply chain issue for the last 18 months, so it’s no different right now.” 

Over the span of those 18 months, Evans said teams have procured in advance numerous holiday items, including turkeys, so they can be available during this high-demand time. 

“Now, you might have to have a little flexibility. You… might not get the exact brand that you need or the right size that you need. But we’ll have turkeys on the shelf and we’ll have those items to make your Thanksgiving holiday a success,” Evans said. “…We’re just asking all of our customers and guests to just understand that we’re doing everything we can, working long hours, sometimes way in advance, months in advance, to secure items that you may need for your Thanksgiving holiday. So it may not be the exact brand that you’re used to, but we’ll have something that you can take and you can have to make your holiday a success.” 

But while United is prepared for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Evans said that the supply chain has impacted stores recently, changing the habits of shoppers. This includes shoppers having to be flexible with various brands and other items that could be a “like match” for an item they do not have in stock. 

As the company prepares for Thanksgiving 2022, the supply chain issues of this year could impact the costs of next year’s holiday, Evans said. 

“We haven’t seen a significant increase just yet,” he said. “For example, turkeys, we purchased those turkeys back in December of last year, so the cost is very similar. We won’t know that big of an increase in costs until after this holiday is over when we get ready to procure for the next year.” 

Thanksgiving is one of the top three busiest days for United Supermarkets, Evans said. To see people taking advantage and preparing for the holiday, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the community, makes him feel good. 

“It makes me feel as if we’re getting and having some success in getting back to some normalcy. It feels good to see the guests coming into the stores, feeling comfortable coming into the stores, knowing that we’re going to provide a safe environment for them as they’re coming into the store,” Evans said. 

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