DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On top of dealing with power outages and boil water advisories, many North Texans have been frustrated by nearly empty shelves at grocery stores across the Metroplex.

“I know it’s unnerving for customers when they come in the store and it doesn’t look like the grocery store they know and love,” said Christy Lara, director of public relations for the southern division of Tom Thumb and Albertsons. “There’s been an increase in demand, coupled with some stores that have dealt with power outages and had to [get rid of] product as a result.”

The hazardous road conditions have also made it difficult for suppliers and trucks to get in.

“So that has impacted us exponentially with getting product replenished in our stores,” said April Martin, corporate affairs manager for the Kroger Dallas division. “We’re hoping to see some type of normalcy – I’ll put that in air quotes – by this weekend.”

The situation at grocery stores is reminiscent of what happened at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

Empty shelves at a Dallas Tom Thumb (credit: Jackie Brewer).

“We’ve learned a lot in the past year, and one of those things is diversifying our suppliers and making sure there’s always a plan B, C, and D,” Martin said.

All Kroger stores in DFW are now back open and operating at normal hours.

Ninety-eight of the 99 Tom Thumb and Albertsons locations in the area were open and operating at reduced hours Thursday but they are all expected to be back to normal Friday.

Empty shelves at a Dallas Tom Thumb (credit: Jackie Brewer).

The retailers are also working with vendors to restock as quickly as possible.

“Starting today and each day going forward, they’ll see dramatic improvements over the next few days, and we’re anticipating early next week a customer would be able to see a more normal looking store,” said Lara.

When essentials like bottled water and firewood are back on shelves, grocers urge people not to over-buy.

“Try your best not to panic shop,” Martin said. “Continue to practice patience when you’re in our stores.”

Kroger is limiting items like milk, bread, eggs, and frozen pizzas to two per customers – another lesson from the pandemic.

Caroline Vandergriff