SEATTLE -- Retailers managed to roll with the severe weather conditions that hit the Pacific Northwest last week.
New Year's Day, local operators reported only a handful of problems.
Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, experienced the most serious damage when part of a roof collapsed at a store in nearby Bremerton, due to the weight of accumulated snow, a chain spokeswoman told SN. However, she said, the store had been evacuated prior to the roof collapse.
She said Albertson's was attempting to salvage what merchandise it could last week while architects and structural engineers sought to assess the amount of reconstruction that would be required and checked out other store roofs to ensure their safety.
At Quality Food Centers, Bellevue, Wash., power went out at nine of the chain's 64 stores early last week, but generators at the stores, plus the ability to move product to refrigerated trailers, helped reduce merchandise losses, Jeff Wood, vice president of grocery merchandising, said.
While some deliveries from suppliers were delayed, all product ordered got to the stores eventually, Wood added, and all stores maintained their 24-hour schedules -- although some employees unable to drive to their regular stores because of hazardous conditions simply walked to the nearest QFC locations and helped out where they could, Wood said.
In areas without power, consumers tended to buy product to fill their most immediate needs, he said, while consumers in other regions simply stockpiled product in case of an emergency. Big sellers included fire logs, batteries and candles, all of which had been ordered by QFC's wholesale suppliers when the weather became threatening, and all were consequently available in ample quantities, Wood said.
Local sources said Associated Grocers, a locally based wholesaler, lost power in its frozen-food facility, resulting in some late deliveries but no other serious problems. Officials at AG could not be reached for comment.
Farther down the West Coast, in Oregon, retailers reported business as usual last week, despite heavy rain.