Grocery stores ramp up shipments to keep up with demand for eclipse

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Grocery stores in Eastern Idaho are facing shortages in keeping their shelves stocked as the eclipse nears.

Here in the Magic Valley, stores have been stocking up their shelves in preparation for an influx of sales leading up to the solar eclipse come Monday.

"We're going to see probably 35 to 40 percent increase (in sales)," Larry Burton, assistant manager of Fred Meyer estimated.

"We have our lead time," said Ben Swensen, a co-owner of Swensen's Markets. "We've bumped our orders maybe 10 to 15 percent."

Those orders include dairy, one product he noticed Eastern Idaho stores are having issues keeping in stock.

"We have to place our order with three days of lead time," he said. "That would create a bit of a problem if you run out and you can't get more for a couple days."

Although not in the path of totality, more visitors are expected to pass through the area and stores are making sure they don't run out of some essentials.

"We have several pallets of bottled water in reserve," said Swensen.

"Hot dogs, we're stocking up on. Obviously, we have a ton of water," added Burton. "We have a trailer full of ice, easy grab to-go stuff. Bananas, apples, chicken over in the service deli, etc."

Fred Meyer also changed up their ordering days to help with backstock.

"We used to get deliveries every other day. For this little bit of time, we've been getting deliveries every single day," Burton said. "We got lots of trailers in the back where we get a lot of our product out there so we have lots of extra storage."

They're treating it like a holiday weekend, but Twin Falls resident Clyde Webster thinks it will get worse than that.

"When the motels fill, they're going to be moving back down through here," Webster said. "Food shortages, gas shortages, and just a lot of people everywhere. It's time to stay home."

Webster says despite Twin Falls only expected to see a 97 percent eclipse, he plans to stay put. Plus, he already did his grocery shopping.

"Already got them yesterday (Monday)," he added. "(We) did get two pairs of glasses and got some for our children."

Store managers have seen some rush, but they anticipate the worst is yet to come. Store managers recommend you get your shopping done early in the morning and before the weekend to avoid the crowds.

"I suspect Friday and Saturday will be big days and then I think the party will be over Monday night," Swensen said.

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