Y2K fears boost area sales

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 30, 1999

In two days, Y2K will strike.

Thursday, December 30, 1999

In two days, Y2K will strike. And whether it hits Lawrence County with a whimper or a bang, local residents seem to think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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At grocery stores, managers and stockers are noticing more bottled water and greater quantities of canned foods leaving the stores –  a fact they attribute to the Y2K scare.

"They have been stocking up for the past couple of weeks, really," Proctorville Kroger co-manager Juan Gutierrez said. "I’m sure as we keep getting closer there will be more people who will stock up on certain items."

The grocery store management made their own 2000 preparations to ensure less reason for any type of panic induced by the possibility of low last-minute stock.

"We are trying to prepare ourselves for any last-minute rush that might happen," Gutierrez said. "We don’t necessarily anticipate any big problems, but we’ve been trying to take every precaution to make sure we don’t run out of any items."

Stores across the county are bringing in additional bottled water, canned-meat products, canned foods and other nonperishables.

"We are stocking extras in the items that will keep a little bit longer and that people might try to purchase a little more of for this," he said. "We’ve been making sure that every aisle is well-stocked and that it stays that way."

If county residents consider wide-ranging implications of the Y2K computer-failure threat, then they have also considered the stroke of midnight and the dawning of a new millennium could mean lack of electricity.

At Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, power generators are leaving the store with new owners on a daily basis.

"We’re selling a whole lot of them, but then, we normally sell them this time of year because of the weather," Lowe’s co-manager John Crouch said.

Although early snowfall could be a contributing factor to increased generator sales, Crouch said it is apparent that additional generators are ordered and sold right now specifically because of the impending Y2K countdown.

"We are definitely selling a little more than normal but nothing completely out of the ordinary," he said. "With the snow coming down the way it has been, that could be it. But I think there are people who are buying them this year because of Y2K."

While the store continues stocking generators, other items are flying off the shelves in much larger quantities this year as residents gear up for possible power failure.

"Actually, we’ve sold quite a few extra flashlights this year and we’ve also sold a pretty good amount of kerosene heaters as well," Crouch said. "Again, the snow and cold weather could be the main reason, but we are definitely selling more of these than we usually do."