GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The massive snowstorms that blanketed much of the country in the days before Christmas created some logistical nightmares for retailers, especially in the Midwest.
At Meijer Stores here, a company spokesman told SN that the chain's 15 supercenters in the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio, market went without deliveries on Thursday, Dec. 23, and most of the day Friday, Dec. 24 -- two of the busiest shopping days of the year -- because trucks from its Tipp City, Ohio, distribution center could not travel on the snow-covered roads.
"We kept the stores open, but products were getting pretty thin," said John Zimmerman, the Meijer spokesman, noting that the stores had been receiving perishables deliveries daily.
"It affected everything from general merchandise to groceries," he added.
He said it was late Friday night before trucks were able to replenish the stores with fresh supplies.
A spokesman for Kroger, Cincinnati, told the Dayton Daily News that the company's stores had difficulty getting deliveries of perishables from its warehouse in Shelbyville, Ind.
"This is as bad as we've seen it, certainly in the last 20 years or so," Art Wulfeck, the Kroger spokesman, was quoted as saying. He also told the paper that the company had difficulty catching up over the Christmas weekend because of the large number of people who had time off.
A spokesman at Kroger's headquarters declined to comment to SN on the impact of the storm.
Retailers said sales got a boost, however, as consumers loaded their pantries before the storm arrived.
"Luckily our local weather forecasters were talking about the storm all week, so people were in the stores stocking up," Zimmerman of Meijer told SN.