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East Charlotte supermarket working to keep prices down for customers amid supply chain issues

Food costs have risen about 4.5 percent over the last year
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Supply chain issues continue to have ripple effects across the country and here in the Carolinas.

You may have noticed trips to the grocery store, for example, are pricier than they used to be.

According to the Consumer Price Index, food from grocery stores and supermarkets was priced 4.5 percent higher this September compared to September of 2020.

Congestion at the ports and shortages of truck drivers and service workers are all leading to issues with shipments arriving at your local grocery stores.

“About four months ago we started noticing a slower trend of deliveries coming in,” Paul Han, general manager of Super G Mart in east Charlotte, told WBTV.

Han says getting the international foods that Super G Mart is known for is tough right now.

But it’s not just those unique items from overseas that are hard to come by.

“Fresh fish, produce, meat and stuff, and now we’re seeing it in the staples like cereal and toilet paper,” he said. “It’s slowing down how fast we can supply it.”

Han said they added more vendors and started buying cheaper brands.

“We’ve had to increase our purchase as well,” he said. “So instead of before buying a pallet or 10 to 15 cases, now they’re having us buy an entire container and splitting it among our stores.”

With that, prices have gone up.

“I’ve come to expect it at this point,” shopper Ronald Roncka said. “I know it’s gonna be a lot more, but what are you gonna do? You still have to go out shopping.”

The supply chain issues don’t seem to be going away and in some cases, they’re having to get creative to keep the shelves stocked.

“If 100 grams of meat costs something, if we have to try to sell that 100 gram, that the price will be a little too high, so we’ll just reduce that to a 70-gram package size so the price hit isn’t as hard,” he said.

As Han does what he can to keep prices down, shoppers are also changing their habits.

“I noticed the poultry, the beef is going up, quite a bit,” Belinda Stowe said. “That’s why I’m turning to vegetables now, going back vegan.”

Super G Mart is also struggling with staffing shortages and they are looking at adding self-checkout options to keep up.

They are also gearing up to open a third location in Pineville, so they hope these supply issues sort themselves out sooner rather than later.

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