International Retailers Eggshausted supplies (No. Ed)
In the UK, where they like to dip their toast soldiers into their soft-boiled breakfast eggs, these are now in short supply. The eggs, obviously, not the soldiers: a combination of high input prices and an avian influenza outbreak has reduced production, causing retailers like Tesco, Aldi and Lidl to set purchase limits at three boxes per customer until the supply chain crunch is sorted out. Over in the US, another shortage is threatened, namely that of large retailers, as the proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons remains unconsummated. The deal, say employees, state attorneys general and antitrust experts, will result in store closures, fewer choices and higher prices for shoppers while putting pensions, pay and jobs at risk. Meh, say Albertsons shareholders, who might be in line for a $4bn payday should it proceed. And now to Bulgaria, beneficiary of rising prices in Greece: Greek punters wait for hours at the border in order to nip across and purchase all manner of goods, particularly dairy products, the prices of which have risen +40% in Greece.
Comment: We will remember these days as the era of glitchy supply chains – or perhaps the beginning of a prolonged period in which nothing can any longer be taken for granted.