Stores running out of things you expect them to have – be it petrol or pies – is always quite disconcerting.
The reasons and the severity of shortages can vary substantially. Supply issues, a strike, a once in a lifetime decision with far-reaching ramifications – whatever the underlying cause, we are all touched by the effects on the ground.
The empty shelf.
These problems are – more often than not – temporary in nature, but that’s not to say we shouldn’t be concerned. There is probably no need to stockpile toilet paper to last you a decade but you can forgive people for getting a little in their own heads when something isn’t there.
As a consumer, there’s something jarring about being presented with a hole where your favourite product could be.
Sure, you COULD buy brown bread, but you wanted white.
That pasta sauce will probably work as well if you subbed out tomato for pepper. Ah, no peppers either… maybe time to buy a frozen pizza.
So why am I talking about this? Well, because it’s in the news. Certain UK petrol stations are running out as quickly as they can supply, and Carrefour is struggling with strikes at logistics centres leading to supply difficulties (more below). And in many parts of the continent, the cracks are starting to show.
How do you react when that thing you wanted is missing? And which key ingredient would lead you to abandon what you planned if it’s missing?
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