Southington marketplace sees supply shortages as Thanksgiving approaches

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SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– If you’re frustrated with the stores running out of the things you want, imagine owning the store.

“One week it’s dairy. No yogurt, no milk. And then the next week, you’re getting it again,” said John Salerno, Tops Marketplace owner.

As the owner of the Tops Marketplace in Southington, Salerno knows that four weeks before Thanksgiving is a bad time to run out of stuff.

“It’s the only holiday of the year that is really centered around the dinner table,” said Salerno.

He says some of the trouble is with raw material and some of it is with the packaging.

“Last week, we couldn’t get lids for the tops of the deli containers. So why? I don’t know. But again, it has to do with production,” Salerno said.

Some factories and processing plants are under strict rules about how many people can be in a room and how close they can stand. That means they can not produce at full capacity.

Salerno tells News 8 he just got a delivery of juice yesterday, but there is still plenty of space on the shelves for more. The thing is store owners never know what they’re going to get, and sometimes he says he waits early morning in the parking lot for delivery and the truck never comes. The distributors tell Salerno they couldn’t find a driver.

Brian Marks, senior lecturer at the University of New Haven’s Department of Economics and Analytics says shortages will lead to higher prices.

“I have no doubt we are going to see a shortage in certain goods that people want to use for Thanksgiving. We are going to see upward pressure on pricing straight throughout, from all good on our shelves,” Marks said.

And we’re already seeing that on the most important part of Thanksgiving, the turkey.

“We were paying $2 a pound on a good turkey last year. Now they’re up to $3 a pound,” Salerno said.

Plus, higher gas prices mean it costs more to get everything to the store.

“There’s been a fuel surcharge,” Salerno started. “And now it is higher than it has ever been.”

Salerno says Tops Marketplace is trying to keep prices as stable as possible, but this problem is not taking the holidays off.

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