Out of Stock Issues at the Coop

September 22, 2021

Dear Members,

If you have shopped at the Coop in the past week, you may have noticed that more grocery and household items are out of stock than usual. We are writing to give you some context and explain why this is happening. The root of the problem is a massive labor shortage across the country that is greatly affecting the food supply chain and the Coop. Dairy, cheese, produce, meat, eggs and other refrigerated items have fortunately been less impacted thus far.

Distributors have plenty of food but they don’t have enough warehouse workers and truck drivers. Our largest grocery supplier is struggling to send us our orders, as are other companies. The Coop membership is experiencing this labor shortage first hand due to our unique combination of high sales and limited storage space. This problem has not (yet) affected other local stores in the same way. While many other grocery stores have the capacity to store several weeks’ worth of groceries at once, the PSFC does not have this luxury. We only have the capacity to store approximately 4 days’ worth of groceries. Thus, while we have been ordering an extremely high volume of product these past two weeks, we are still running low on inventory because our orders are only partially being fulfilled.

Rest assured that our buyers are working hard to approach alternative distributors, order from different warehouses, find substitutes to products we usually carry, and offer comparable products at similar price points.  Our objective is to keep the Coop well stocked so that our membership continues to find the Coop a satisfying one-stop shopping experience.  We ask for your patience and flexibility by purchasing substitutes or reaching for something new. For example, your favorite cut of pasta may not be in stock but we continue to have plenty of high-quality pasta. Overall, shoppers should be able to come away with what you want or very close to what you want.

We are excited to see the members returning as our strong community continues to work together to support our Coop. We are committed to resolving this current challenge as soon as humanly possible so that every member who shops will find our shelves fully stocked with their favorite products once again.


Joe Holtz
General Manager


Gillian Chi
Grocery Buyer
Park Slope Food Coop