KADOKA, S.D. — In a small rural town, trips to the grocery store can look a little different. Supermarkets across the country have been impacted by supply chain issues, and the owner of Kadoka’s store spoke about her experiences.
Kadoka, South Dakota is home to 779 people, one of whom is Shawna Bendt, whose family owns the People’s Market grocery store. While supply chain issues have impacted retail and other industries, some small businesses have not been hit as hard.
Bendt says the personal connections with her customers actually helps her make more efficient orders.
“They’re very good about letting us know what they need so we can try to get it on the shelves for them so they don’t have to travel to get it,” she says.
However, Bendt has still had to change a few of her strategies to make sure she can bring in what her shoppers need the most.
“My ordering process is completely different than it was pre-COVID, just because I used to order what I wanted and it came and that was that,” she explains.
Sometimes, Bendt can’t get a flavor that she typically carries, but is usually able to replace it with a different one, so the regular item can at least be substituted. It’s taken some extra work to fill the shelves, but People’s Market remains committed to providing for the community.
“We do a lot of work every week to keep everything full,” Bendt adds. “It isn’t like it used to be where you just order it and everything was full. It’s a process, it’s a different process than it used to be.”
Unlike many other businesses, People’s Market isn’t facing a labor shortage, which has also been helpful in keeping shelves stocked.
“We have really good, dependable employees that we’ve had for a lot of years, so we’re lucky that way,” Bendt says.
They have also always operated on more limited hours than national chains, which has prevented labor issues and allowed them to fix any stock issues before opening for the day.
Bendt is also thankful that her customers have continued to support her supermarket through the challenges.