Empty Carts

As if students have not been having a hard enough time getting back into the swing of things this semester, Point Loma Nazarene University’s favorite grocery store’s empty shelves adds to the issue. Trader Joes has been experiencing supply shortages over the past three months. 

The shortages are due to a supply chain issue up in Long Beach. These issues originated from the COVID-19 pandemic but have continued to spiral since then. Businesses all over the country are being affected, but PLNU students are feeling the weight of these problems in their shopping carts. 

Employee of 16 years, Mate Justin Vanmatre works at the Liberty Station Trader Joes. He has been dealing with customers’ questions and complaints about these issues since they started to get bad in November. 

“We have major shortages right now in all the departments. A lot of it is shipping but a lot of it also is labor shortages and packaging shortages,” said Vanmatre.

As the issues stem from so far back in the supply chain, there is nothing that individual workers can do to help out customers. While one might assume missing products would be a source of frustration for customers, Vanmatre says that the Point Loma community has been very patient with his coworkers during this time. 

“When we first started having shortages there were definitely more questions, but now it’s more of a widely known thing,” said Vanmatre.

Awareness of the issue has eased people’s emotions, but they still see the effects of the issue on the daily. Fourth-year international peace studies major Evelyn Lohman is a PLNU student who has been affected by the lack of products available. 

“I’m a frequenter at Trader Joes and have been noticing that they have been out of stock of many of my favorite foods. I use mascarpone a lot in cooking and they only just got it back in stock last week,” Lohman said.

Certain stacks and foods are going out of stock as others trickle in, but it still has been difficult to create a full cart of one’s desired products. Workers were unable to pinpoint a specific date that they expect all of their products to be back, so for now visitors must simply play the waiting game.

Written By: Sara Kuhn