SEATTLE -- The earthquake that shook up western Washington last Wednesday created only minor disruptions for area supermarkets.
Several stores were forced to close down for a few hours the day of the quake -- to wait for electricity to return or to clean up product shaken loose from the shelves -- but by Thursday morning, operations were basically back to normal, chain representatives told SN.
There were no reports of any structural damage, they added.
Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., said 100 locations, or roughly half the stores in its Seattle division, were affected for short periods -- primarily in the Olympia area, which experienced the brunt of the temblor. Most problems involved power outages or product cleanup, but all stores were open later the same day, the company said.
"It's all very good news," a Safeway spokeswoman told SN. "There was no damage to our warehouse, our plants or our stores, there were no delivery problems, and it's all business as usual."
Because most roads were open within hours of the quake, the company did not see any changes in buying patterns and no runs on any types of merchandise, she added. Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, said five stores in the area were closed for a few hours Wednesday to allow associates to clear the aisles of merchandise that had fallen and to wait for deliveries to replenish the shelves, and all but one were reopened by 6 that evening, a chain spokeswoman told SN. The other store reopened Thursday morning, she added.
Albertson's services this market through its distribution center in Portland, Ore., and there were no problems getting deliveries through, the spokeswoman said.
Business was brisk just after the quake, she added, "because a number of competitive stores were closed."
Kroger Co., Cincinnati, which operates Quality Food Centers and Fred Meyer multidepartment stores here, said six units of each were closed briefly Wednesday after losing power but all were in full operation by the end of the day.
There was minor inventory damage at some of the QFCs, he said. He declined to comment on whether the chain had any problems delivering product to stores following the quake. Associated Grocers here said damage was very light -- "just some spilled milk, literally," a spokeswoman told SN.