Island grocery shelves sitting empty due to ‘internal supply chain challenges,’ Walmart says

Island grocery shelves sitting empty due to 'internal supply chain challenges,' Walmart says
Walmart Canada Corp.
Victoria Hillside Walmart Supercentre.

Walmart Canada says it’s working on restocking grocery shelves currently sitting stark in stores across British Columbia, including on Vancouver Island.

A corporation spokesperson tells CHEK News that several B.C. Walmart Supercentres are experiencing “some recent internal supply chain challenges” affecting both fresh and frozen food categories. 

Walmart customers in cities like Victoria and Campbell River have taken to social media this week, posting photos of shelves once filled with items like fruits, vegetables and meats now sitting bare. 

“This is not what our customers expect and deserve,” said Felicia Fefer, Walmart Canada corporate affairs manager, in a statement Friday. 

But it’s an issue already seen in recent years.

At the beginning of the pandemic, people on the Island and beyond started panic buying in bulk at grocery stores, stocking up on items like toilet paper as the reality of COVID-19 unfolded in 2020.

Flash forward to November 2021, unprecedented floods hit B.C. and damaged highways and railways, leading to supply chain disruptions.

Then by January of this year, an expert told CHEK News that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was forcing more people to be off work, resulting in fewer people moving food around the country and less product on store shelves.

Fefer says Walmart Canada is prioritizing its latest supply chain issue and notes that product availability continues to improve daily.

“We apologize to our customers for this short-term inconvenience and thank them for their understanding,” she added.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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