Kmart plagued with empty shelves, Whittaker’s face shortages amid Ports of Auckland shipment delays

No retailers are immune from the impacts of Ports of Auckland’s incoming shipment delays.

Australian retail chain Kmart is the latest retailer to bear the brunt of supply delays, with shelves at a number of its store sitting empty as it awaits for stock on container ships stuck in the Waitemata waiting to be unloaded at the Ports of Auckland.

The Wesfarmers-owned chain has been forced to put up notices in some of its stores warning shoppers of the delays and limited availability of stock.

“We’re working hard to meet demand,” one notice displayed in Kmart Albany said.

“Continued port congestion is causing delivery delays across the country, impacting our ability to get selected products into store, including some advertised lines. We’re working hard to bring you Kmart products and we really appreciate your understanding, patience and support.”

A number of shelves in Kmart’s Albany and Sylvia Park stores in Auckland are empty, with the retailer running out of children’s toys and some homeware goods ahead of Christmas.

The Herald has contacted Kmart for company.

But the popular retailer is not alone in its supply woes.

Kiwi chocolate manufacturer Whittaker’s is warning that some of its chocolate blocks will be out of stock until the end of January at the latest.

In a Facebook post, the Porirua-based company said that due to supply delays for its ingredients its Berry Forest and Berry and Biscuit chocolate blocks and mini slabs were temporarily out of stock.

“It seems 2020’s twists keep coming! Due to supply delays for our ingredients we’re sorry to say two of your favourite blocks will be out of stock until late January at the earliest.”

Whittaker’s co-chief operating officer Holly Whittaker told the Herald it was disappointed to experience the hiatus in production for the two flavours.

“While we’re disappointed to experience this hiatus in our production of these popular flavours, this situation reflects the impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains generally that is affecting many other Kiwi businesses as well,” Whittaker said.

“Fortunately, because we source ingredients locally as much as possible we have not been as affected by these supply issues until now, and no other products in Whittaker’s range are affected.

“We’ll be getting underway with making more Whittaker’s Berry Forest and Berry & Biscuit as soon as we get the ingredients we’re waiting for, and hope to have them back in retail outlets across New Zealand from late January.”

Temporarily out of stock. It seems 2020’s twists keep coming! Due to supply delays for our ingredients we’re sorry to…

The cargo ship log jam has seen ships waiting up to two weeks at sea before they can be unloaded as the Ports of Auckland struggles to meet demand amid a staff shortage.

The delays to incoming stock for retailers are affecting a wide range of retailers and goods including clothing, food, toys, homewares and outdoor furniture.

The delays are also having a knock-on effect for Kiwi exporters who face lengthy delays – up to six weeks waits in some cases – to have their goods loaded on to ships for export markets, costing some company’s major orders.

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