When will Dallas-Fort Worth grocery stores be restocked after the winter storm rush?

Mac Engel

North Texans crowded stores before the winter storm to stock up on essentials, so you may have had some trouble finding products at your grocery store.

“The grocery stores have experienced a surge in buying due to that stocking up,” said Michael Esquivel, the chair of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management department at Tarrant County College. “The domino effect is that the stores will submit a surge of replenishment orders to their distribution centers.”

With Thursday afternoon looking better and Friday clear, shoppers will most likely see grocery store shelves replenished by the end of the weekend, Esquivel expects. How quickly stores will restock is all dependent on what the roads look like.

What does that mean for shoppers?

Most likely, there is adequate supply of product at the distribution centers, Esquivel says, because they carry a certain amount of safety stock for each item. The centers will receive those store replenishment orders and then make decisions on how much to send and where. They will then notify their suppliers (like Post cereal, Proctor & Gamble, etc.) to replenish stock at the distribution center.

Another supplier of goods to the grocery store are snack companies like Frito-Lay. They deliver chips and cookies directly from their distribution centers by individual trucks, not through distribution centers. The same decision process is made within their network on how much and where to restock shelves, Esquivel said.

“There are truckloads of product from suppliers that I’m sure are further delayed in other states, but it’s the on-hand stock in the [distribution centers] that will get to the stores quicker,” Esquivel says.

Because of the storm’s impact, grocery stores have shifted their operations. See how that will affect your grocery store.

H-E-B and Central Market operating normal hours

All H-E-B and Central Market stores in North Texas are open and operating normal hours, spokesperson Mabrie Jackson says. Store teams are working to replenish shelves as supply trucks begin to arrive at the stores. Curbside and delivery may have limited availability in certain areas, according to a Thursday news release.

“At H-E-B, our top priority is taking care of Texas, and we are committed to help our fellow Texans in any situation our company and communities might face. Across our business, we are familiar with and regularly prepare for extreme weather events. Our dedicated Partners — at our stores, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and transportation team — are ready and well-equipped to serve our customers with the products they need,” the press release said. “In preparation of the inclement winter weather, we are taking precautions to protect and support our Partners and our stores. Any out-of-stocks are temporary. Our Partners restock shelves with more product throughout the day. Additionally, H-E-B has prioritized conserving energy across our business to do our part to help preserve the energy grid in Texas.”

Tom Thumb and Albertsons will restock Friday and through the weekend

Tom Thumb and Albertsons stores plan to restock their shelves Thursday, Friday and throughout the weekend. The stores do not expect any long-term outages as a result of the weather.

“We anticipate that by the weekend our stores will have many of the products our customers know and love and by Monday our DFW Tom Thumb and DFW Albertsons stores will be fully recovered,” spokesperson Christy Lara said.

Teams worked ahead of the forecasted weather to front-load stores with typically high demand items during winter weather events such as firewood, canned vegetables, canned tomatoes, ground meat, stew meat, soups and stews, snacks (especially chips and soda), bread and milk. They worked with distribution and procurement teams as well as direct-to-store delivery partners to push up deliveries in advance of the predicted weather on those items and store ordered products.

“Our teams and our direct to store vendor partners have continued working on replenishment and recovery plans over the past few days and deliveries to stores will be on the road later today and heading into the weekend,” Lara said. “We have expanded our in store receiving hours to accommodate additional delivery windows as those products are delivered to stores today and tomorrow and throughout the weekend.”

Walmart will replenish as conditons improve

“We remain focused on serving our customers dealing with the storm’s lingering effects and will continue prioritizing the safety of everyone working and shopping with us,” Walmart spokesperson Charles Crowson said. “We anticipate quickly replenishing our stores as conditions improve and our teams coordinate distribution needs.”

Kroger remains open during regular hours

Kroger stores remained open during regular hours throughout the week. With roads safer to navigate, more associates and Direct Store Delivery partners are now able to make it to stores to stock shelves and assist customers.

“Now that the roads are starting to clear and are more safe to navigate, our teams are working hard to restock shelves, while our Direct Store Delivery partners are ramping their operations back up to help in the process,” Kroger spokesperson John Votava said.

One Kroger in Bedford, for instance, is just now receiving trucks, after a two-day stop due to the ice. While not much is out of stock, employees are currently restocking everyday items like meat, chips and soda.

“Our stores remained open regular hours throughout the inclement weather to serve the needs of our communities with access to fresh food, essentials and prescriptions,” Votava said. “That wouldn’t have been possible without our incredible store leadership teams going above and beyond to keep the doors open, our valued store associates who braved the elements to serve our neighbors, and our distribution centers and partners ensuring that deliveries arrived at the stores safely throughout the week.”

After the Kroger distribution center rolled out deliveries to stores throughout the week, associates are now working to restock as quickly as possible. Many stores have already been restocked, and they will all be restocked from Thursday to Friday, Votava says. He says staple items like milk, bread and eggs have been in high demand but does not expect shortages for any products.

Target stores are open

All Target stores in Texas are currently open and one Target distribution center in Texas remains closed but is scheduled to reopen late Thursday. Check Target.com for the most up-to-date store hours.

“The safety of our team members and guests is our top priority, and we are keeping a close watch on conditions in areas experiencing inclement weather,” Target spokesperson Joe Unger said.

Will there be any long-term shortages?

Esquivel doesn’t expect shortages to be a long-term issue at all. Shortages do not seem to be as severe as the last winter storm, which he suspects is because grocery stores pushed up receiving of items based on their past experience. The decision-making process for restocking has likely been adjusted to factor in these severe weather events, Esquivel said.

Customers have been buying easy-to-make meal items, such as noodles and oatmeal. Bread, milk and eggs are always in high demand.