As You’d Imagine Huge Lines forming at Grocery Stores


@petehammerle tweets us just after 5:30pm:

“Line at @HarrisTeeter in #noma right now. Heard someone say they had been waiting for 30 minutes. @PoPville”

@jarbotxst sends us the shot below:


22 Comment

  • What are these people expecting?

    I’ll be shopping too on the way home from work tonight, of course. But that’s just because I need a case of beer for my snow-day plans. That and some ether.

    • A lot of those people were just shopping on the way home from work, too. In fact, I’m in that picture, and that’s exactly what I was doing. And I can guarantee you hat everyone thought it was just as ridiculous, but you know what? That line moved surprisingly quickly, and no one was stockpiling anything. It’s a grocery store in a newly-densely populated area, and more people than average thought that maybe it would be inconvenient to stop by the store for a couple of days, so they got what they would need for those couple of days. More baskets than huge carts in that line.

  • I was at The Streets around 5:30. Granted it’s not a “real” supermarket (better in many respects) but it was the usual handful of people. In and out in a couple minutes.

  • Well it will be cold, rainy or snowy for, like, almost 48 hours straight . . .

  • This is what happens when we start throwing around the suffix “-pocalypse” and “-mageddon” so loosely.

  • maxwell smart

    I really don’t understand this AT ALL – there’s going to be a couple of inches of snow – maybe even almost a foot. Schools and maybe government will be shut down 1 day. Literally everything else will be open, including the grocery store. Do you seriously need an entire grocery basket of food for the maybe 1 day you are going to be inconvenienced going to the store?

  • I always shake my head at this, especially in DC.

    The temp is supposed to be in the mid 40’s again by Friday, and will climb to the 60’s by next Tuesday. Even if you didn’t have a shred of food in your house, you would be inconvenienced by at most, a day, day and a half.

    It is like people are trained to buy stuff they aren’t going to consume when weather strikes.

    Good business for grocery stores though. People end up buying tons of perishables they can’t eat before they go bad, and have to go out and buy more next week.

  • Isn’t part of the fun of living in a city trudging around in the elements looking for an open bar or a little bit of hot chocolate mix to take back home? It is for me.

  • Mug of Glop

    I’m from the north, where it takes a lot more cataclysmic a prediction than this to get us to panic like seems to happen all the time in this town. That said, I did stop by the store on the way home to get the fixin’s for a nice boozy brunch in the morning when OPM finally tells us not to come into work.
    I can never remember, though. Is it champagne first? Or orange juice first?

  • I get it if you’re in the burbs and might have to dig out your car or your street won’t get plowed. But if you live in the city, grocery stores stay open and you can walk just fine in snow. I’m just going to my corner store tomorrow to get fixins for the stuff I’ll cook on my day off.

  • justinbc

    I bought an entire cart’s worth of groceries last night the The Yards HT (where the lines weren’t that bad), but I had also not been to the grocery store in about a month and needed to restock after getting home from a trip. Maybe don’t assume that everyone buying mass quantities of food is a nincompoop incapable of understanding the complexities of Mid-Atlantic weather.

  • Blithe

    I’m enjoying counting up how many of the people who are so scathingly incredulous at the apparently bizarre local custom of shopping before a snow storm actually admit to going shopping themselves.

  • When has DC ever been snowed in for any appreciable amount of time that requires the procuring of foodstuffs to last a month? What part of the country are these people from ? Hawaii?

    • justinbc

      Are you looking at the same shopping carts as I am? Do you really think those are “groceries for a month” or are you joining in the same type of hyperbolic activity that you’re condemning?

  • Also, whoever said they had been waiting thirty minutes was grossly exaggerating. From the time I joined the line in the deli section, it was maybe 10-12 minutes to checkout. That’s about an average rush-hour trip to the Safeway on 5th.

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