Inventory issues pose problems for shop owners

A nationwide tampon shortage has reached the shelves of stores in Frazee, like this sporadic collection at Dollar General.

By Kathryn Wilkowski


Since the beginning of the pandemic, local shop owners have been fighting with supply chain issues on keeping fully stocked for this small town.

Recently, a tampon shortage has hit major retailers nationwide and has slowly been finding its way into local shops. 

“I haven’t been able to get any in for two weeks,” Jackie Lucca, manager of All in All, said. “It’s scary because every woman is so particular about their tampons. They want to be able to buy what they’ve always been using.”

After traveling to all of the locations that sell tampons in town, there is a clear lack of abundance in choices or retailers are completely out and unable to sell any to the local consumers. Experts say that due to the shortages in the raw materials used to make tampons and increasing material and manufacturing costs all lead to the tampon shortage.

“We have a few choices but we can’t get anymore in,” Tammy Byer, employee at Seip Drug said. “Since last fall it’s been really bad on what we can get in. It’s really a hit-or-miss on what we won’t be able to get in on any given week.”

Not only stressing on keeping tampons on the shelves, according to New York Times, the prices of tampons have increased by nearly 10 percent from the start of this year through the end of May. 

“The prices of everything go up, then down, then back up again,” said Jan Decker, employee at Family Foods. “You don’t really notice unless you’re like me, and work in places like this.”

Supply chains have been under stress since the very beginning of the pandemic, and not just for tampons. 

“It’s the most random things,” Becky Lundgren, employee at Frazee Family Foods said. “Like at one point it was impossible to get chicken gumbo soup in, then recently we can’t get any of the big tubs of yogurt except for strawberry flavored. It’s just the weirdest thing.”

Luckily, manufacturers and major retailers are trying to remedy the tampon shortage and claim that it’s not a permanent situation. 

In the meantime, there are more alternatives to tampons than ever before including: pads, period underwear, and a variety of different menstrual cups and discs.