Target, CVS and Walmart cough and cold aisles appear bare

If you experience a cold or cough in the next few days, be prepared to visit several stores for common over-the-counter remedies.

Spot checks of eight Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS and Sam’s Club locations in northeast Dallas on Monday found some with empty shelves while others had fast supplies.

Target and CVS had the most sparse shelves. Walmart and Walgreens had better stocked aisles.

And some of the marketing signs are unintentionally funny when the shelves are bare, like those at Target offering $ 5 gift cards if you buy two cough and cold items.

Likewise, CVS shelves are full of yellow discount labels promising “buy one, get one 50% off” in front of empty shelves.

And on Walmart’s empty cough drops shelf, there is a marketing message that reads, “Keep relief close at hand. It’s a bit late for that.

Cough drops are hard to find anywhere. The same goes for Vicks VapoRub, the remedy that mothers have been applying to children’s breasts for 125 years, and Mucinex capsules.

This week, the store is giving away $ 5 gift cards on two cough and cold items.

While the omicron variant has led to a surge in infections, the truth is that many people haven’t even had a cold in the past two years thanks to social distancing and wearing masks. To them, it’s a bit shocking not to see shelves packed with everyday items like Nyquil or Robitussin.

Most stores have something in stock to relieve a runny nose or cough. Some customers will now decide to try Walmart’s Equate brand of “Mucus ER” or CVS Health’s private label “congestion and cough” syrup.

The cold remedy aisle at a CVS on Forest Lane in Dallas on Monday.  The store offers discounts on products that it cannot keep in stock.
The cold remedy aisle at a CVS on Forest Lane in Dallas on Monday. The store offers discounts on products that it cannot keep in stock.

And just as many consumers have reached some level of fatigue from COVID, so have stores. Asked about its empty shelves, a CVS spokesperson said in an email response: “In the event that a local store experiences a temporary shortage of products, our teams have a process in place to replenish the supply. . “

Target responded with a link to a blog he posted last fall on how he deals with supply chain issues.

An employee at the SuperTarget store on Skillman Street and Abrams Road said the place was receiving cold remedies but stocks were skyrocketing.

“With three quarters of a million people testing positive for omicron per day, many more people are buying cough and cold remedies and getting by,” said Ed Fox, professor of marketing at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

Robin Johnston, a Farmers Branch resident, worked primarily from home before the pandemic as a program writer at the University of Dallas.

Promotional discounts like the buy and 50% off panels that don’t seem out of place on shelves today were negotiated with manufacturers and decided on two months ago, Fox said. “Did we even know the omicron then?” “

And a Monday after a busy weekend might not be the best time to judge a store’s replenishment performance for high-demand products.

There are waves of workers calling in sick just as the demand is so high, Fox said, and it takes workers to stock shelves.

“But that too is temporary,” Fox said, just as previous shortages have involved everything from eggs to toilet paper. “There are a lot of evil things going on now. It’s explainable, but still weird.

Stores are challenged to keep cough drops in stock, as illustrated in this display at the Dallas Walmart Supercenter at Timber Creek Crossing Mall.
Stores are challenged to keep cough drops in stock, as illustrated in this display at the Dallas Walmart Supercenter at Timber Creek Crossing Mall.

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

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