ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -- Supply chain problems prompted by the pandemic have been hitting grocery store shelves hard, making some things hard to find, or just more expensive.

Big Y in Rocky Hill and Stew Leonard’s in Newington said they’re stocked for the holidays.

To do that, they had to change the approach in how they got their product.

It’s a change one economist said could be a permanent one.

Ahead of the holiday season, Big Y Store Manager Joseph Canales said his team had to get creative to get supplies.

"We have great buyers and category managers that really went out and procured a little bit extra, or a different source to make sure that we were able to take care of our customers,” Canales said.

That approach was used for all products in the store.

It was hard to find something lacking on the shelves.

It’s a welcome change after the initial hit of supply shortages.

"Any category we kind of saw a loss of depth, I guess you would say, to describe the in stock. There wasn't a lot there,” Canales said.

It's the same at Stew Leonard’s.

Whether it be baked goods, produce, meats, the store is confident they'll be able to handle the holiday rush.

Store Manager Jenn Polaski says it helped when they started buying more locally.

"So, we really don't have to worry about something coming overseas, it's really right here. And we have a lot of vendors for different items, so we're able to negotiate. If we can't get it from someone else, we reach out to the other people and they get it to us,” Polaski said.

Shifting to local, or at least more domestic vendors, may be the new way for grocery stores to operate.

UConn professor Rigoberto Lopez said it shortens the supply chain, making it more resilient and reliable.

"It's probably going to be a permanent change in the supply of food and that would be a good thing for the local economy as well,” Lopez said.

He added that grocers who rely heavily on international imports are really the ones hurting the most right now.

Unfortunately, supply chain issues likely won't resolve until well into 2022.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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