Grocery Stores Face Rush of Customers the Day Before Thanksgiving

COVID had a huge impact on Ken’s Village Market in Indian River’s supply last year with suppliers sending only 40 to 50 percent of their usual loads.

Things have changed this time around with them having enough turkeys not only for Thanksgiving, but Christmas as well, and customers kept filing in and out of the store on Wednesday to get their birds.

“It’s been very busy the last three days, especially today,” said Walt Dark, store manager. “It’s been nice seeing people coming in.”Turkey Price

While prices may be higher this year, up to 17 percent more for turkey, customers are still making those last minute purchases.

“Everything is going up I’ve noticed,” said Lila Schiel, one of the market’s customers. “That’s not always a good thing but I mean I’m still going to buy everything I need.”

Some are getting the traditional meals, turkey, mashed potatoes, and green beans while others take shortcuts.

“I got a pound of Shirley smoked turkey already cooked, sliced thick, so I can make my stuffing and gravy with all this other stuff and the turkeys already done,” said Therese Lukes, another customer.

This year, Ken’s Village Market is seeing more customers and that could be due to more people scheduling those large family get togethers again.

“I think people are a little more relaxed shopping. I think we’re a little bit over the hump with COVID,” said Dark. “They feel, I think protected, because a lot of them have their virus shots so I think they’re coming in and they feel good coming in. They don’t have the fear in them like they did last year.”

However, they’re still missing out on some profits thanks to a staffing shortage, something many other businesses are also going through.

“Obviously when your hours are cut back, there’s less ringing through the till, so our sales will be down because of that but it’s not enough to really hurt us bad,” said Dark. “We can still be open here doing good business for the people coming in but it’ll be nice to get back to full hours again somewhere in the future.”

People have been picking up their turkeys, but they’ve also hit the bakery hard today, getting pies for their thanksgiving dessert.