CARS HOMES JOBS

Stores hustle to stock shelves

Retailers see brisk sales of batteries, generators, gas

Monday, October 29, 2012
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Price Chopper warehouse worker Peter DiCaprio moves pallets of water and food to a tractor trailer that will be shipped to a local Price Chopper store.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Price Chopper warehouse worker Peter DiCaprio moves pallets of water and food to a tractor trailer that will be shipped to a local Price Chopper store.

— Anticipating Hurricane Sandy, Capital Region residents stormed supermarkets and hardware stores in search of emergency supplies, leaving some shelves bare and store owners scrambling to restock them.

At Marty’s True Value Paint and Hardware in Schenectady, the first thing to go out of stock was generators. Then the “D” batteries were wiped out. Now all of the lanterns are gone, Manny Aragosa, one of the store’s owners, reported. The good news is there are still flashlights in stock.

Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse in Clifton Park is plumb out of generators, too, and an employee there reported customers are buying up anything that generates light or heat. Flashlights and propane canisters have been flying out the door, and in anticipation of flooding, customers are picking up sump pumps at a brisk pace, he said.

Allerdice Building Supply in Saratoga Springs is lucky because it’s close to the Ace Hardware Distribution Center in Wilton, so inventory can be restocked quickly. But keeping certain items in the store has still been a challenge, David Moen, manager of the electrical department, said.

“We’ve been running out of everything from generator cords to generators,” he said, noting that they’ve had to replenish their stock of batteries, flashlights and extension cords as well.

The store received a shipment of 20 or 30 generators Monday morning, and they’re selling quickly.

There are no generators to be found at All Seasons Equipment in Glenville. They’ve been sold out since Saturday, but there should be more in stock by the end of the week, reported Tony Cremo, general manager. Chain saws are also in high demand, and there are still some in stock, he noted.

At Carman Hardware in Rotterdam, there are no “D” batteries, the flashlight supply is dwindling and the propane tanks are going fast, according to an employee there.

Stewart’s Shops employees are working as fast as they can to restock bottled water, batteries and bread, reported spokesman Tom Mailey.

Customers have been lining up to fill up their gas tanks at local Stewart’s Shops in anticipation of a power outage that would disable electronic gas pumps.

“My boss just tweeted that thanks to Sandy, Sunday’s gas sales were 67 percent higher than the previous Sunday,” Mailey said.

The gas truck was on its way to the Sunoco Station on Balltown Road in Niskayuna Monday afternoon, where gas was running low.

“As long as there’s power, we will have gas,” Glenn, an employee there who did not want to give his last name, said.

It’s been busier than usual since the middle of last week at area Price Chopper stores, but the shelves are well stocked, for the most part, said spokeswoman Mona Golub.

“There was more anticipation time with Sandy, so we were able to reach out to our milk and bread suppliers and ensure an extra delivery [Monday] to bounce back from a heavy weekend,” she said.

Price Chopper shoppers have been loading up on milk, bread, ready-to-eat foods, canned meats, tuna and peanut butter and jelly, along with batteries and flashlights, she said. Shipments of new supplies are arriving at the grocery stores daily, and sometimes even more frequently.

The Niskayuna Co-Op also had a crazy weekend, General Manager Don Bisgrove said.

“Pretty much anything you can imagine went out of here. Water got wiped out. We have none left,” he said.

The batteries are all gone too, he noted, and he’s seen a lot of people buying ice and snack foods, along with all sorts of regular groceries.

Concerned about the power outages the storm might cause, Bisgrove has been calling around looking for a generator powerful enough to keep the co-op up and running in the event of an outage.

“Everybody just laughs at you,” he said.

At Gabriel’s Supermarket in Scotia, cashier Rena Cleland is seeing a lot of water and cold cuts go out the door, but the store didn’t have any bare shelves as of Monday afternoon.

“So far we’re doing good,” she said.

 
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