Texas convenience store chain says around 13% of its products are out of stock because of manufacturer shortages

Texas convenience store chain says around 13% of its products are out of stock because of manufacturer shortages
Supply-chain snarls are leading to widespread product shortages. (Store pictured is not TXB).Chris Putnam/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
  • The CEO of a Texas convenience store chain says about 13% of its products are out of stock.
  • Kevin Smartt said manufacturers were slashing thousands of products from deliveries each week.

Americans have less choice at convenience stores, and for that they can blame the labor shortage and supply-chain crisis.

TXB, or Texas Born, a convenience store chain that serves Texas and Oklahoma, is one retailer caught up in the maelstrom.

Its CEO Kevin Smartt told CNN that between 12% and 13% of TXB's products were of stock. "In a normal environment, it would be about 1.5%," he said.

"As a chain, we're probably averaging 6,500 to 8,000 outs a week from manufacturers," Smartt said, referring to the various ranges of branded products that weren't being delivered.

Record quit rates and a surge in Omicron cases is causing a shortage of workers across manufacturers and distributors, which in turn is leading to delays across the supply chain and product shortages. Other disruptions including port congestion, spells of bad weather, and soaring online sales are causing further strain. Meanwhile, soaring inflation means products are costing more.


TXB has around 50 stores across Texas and Oklahoma that sell branded and private-label products alongside fresh food including coffee, tacos, and chicken tenders.

Smartt told CNN that most of TXB's stores were located in small towns where it's the only local store.

"In those places, the convenience store is a lifeline for the community," he said. "There's a lot of frustration from customers. Anything on top of the supply chain challenges, like bad weather, is making the situation worse."

Smartt said manufacturer shortages were forcing the company to turn to alternative brands – but even that was difficult at the moment.

"It's a daily struggle to buy substitute brands from alternative suppliers for products we carry," Smartt told CNN. "It's a war zone because everyone is doing the same thing. It's a logistical nightmare and sometimes the substitutes that we have to buy are more expensive."


Companies including Starbucks, Chipotle, and P&G are raising prices while others are turning to alternative brands. Some grocery stores have reported severe product shortages, pushing shoppers to turn to different brands.

Do you own or manage a company that's struggling to find truckers or that's experiencing supply problems? Or are you a trucker with a story? Contact this reporter at gdean@insider.com.