Harris Teeter and Publix, two major southern grocery chains, are drastically cutting their hours of operation until further notice. Harris Teeter, which prided itself on being open 24 hours a day, will now only be open from 6am to 9pm. Publix has also announced that some of its locations will now be closing at either 9pm or 10pm.
Some speculate that the changes might be related to a widespread worker shortage while others say it is simply not attractive anymore to work an overnight shift for minimum wage. In any case, southerners will now need to buy their food and other supplies during a tighter time window moving forward.
WRAL in Raleigh spoke with Harris Teeter Communication Manager Danna Robinson about the changes, which she said are being done "to focus on thorough cleaning, replenishment, staffing and the well-being of our valued associates."
"We believe closing our stores earlier will allow our valued associates to: take their earned days off; efficiently process ExpressLane orders; manage labor in this difficult employment environment; ensure excellent closings to better prepare for the following day; and make certain that our stores are a clean, safe place to work and shop," Harris Teeter further added in a company statement.
"We thank our shoppers and community members for continuing to show care, gratitude and kindness to our hard-working, valued associates as well as your fellow shoppers."
As for Publix, the company says it is shutting down its stores earlier throughout the Triangle area of central North Carolina in order to "meet the needs of our customers."
"Over the course of the pandemic, customer shopping habits have evolved," the company revealed in a statement.
"Based on these evolutions, we have modified store hours at select locations to reflect our current state. If customer shopping patterns shift, we will re-evaluate our operating hours."
At least one Chick-Fil-A restaurant, located in the Raleigh suburb of Cary next to a Publix location that is closing earlier, is also shutting its dining room after lunch on Wednesdays and not reopening until the next day.
WRAL admitted that these shutdowns are probably related to both worker shortages and "stock issues" that prevent enough supply from getting on the shelf or into people's food bags.
As we have been reporting lately, the problem is not isolated to just a few grocery stores and a fast-food chain. It is global in nature, and it has only just begun.
The supply issues we saw last year during the early days of the Chinese Virus lockdowns were only just a foreshadowing of the carnage that is currently building as the supply chain gets chopped to bits by all the tyranny.
We wish we could say that things are going to get better, but they most likely are not, especially for those heavily invested in the current world order. Is Mystery Babylon on its last legs? It would appear so, depending on your perspective.
"For me, it's not frustrating if you just set the expectation I know I need to be out here a little earlier," said one Raleigh local after hearing the news.
"But when I think about the longer impact of things of all the stores in the area are starting to do the same thing, I think that's when it would start to become frustrating eventually."
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