Titusville Business Booms Prior to Hurricane Dorian, But Some Slip

Digital Media Skills

When a tropical storm is projected to hit the Space Coast, Titusville is divided between the those who prep and those who wait it out.

Lowes Home Improvement stores experienced increased sales in plywood to cover windows and generators to power homes in the concern that Dorian would make landfall near Cape Canaveral.

Local grocer Publix shelves were near naked for many shelf stable staples in preparation for Dorian. Low inventory on water, Gatorade, tuna, and bread kept the grocer on their toes for almost an entire week. A member of management, Jay, at Publix #1421 shared the following.

“We made emergency orders of water and ice. We tried to have enough [products] ready for everything. We’re pretty used to this hurricane thing by now.”

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that partners with several local retailers, including Publix, Aldi, ABC Liquor, Sam’s Club, and Petco. Shoppers experienced a large increase in orders prior to the storm. Unfortunately, stores’ low inventories were not indicated to customers and Instacart shoppers were left with little options to fulfill the orders. Jennifer Andrews, an Instacart Shopper in Port St. Lucie, said the following.

“It was a challenge to continue to provide service when inventory was low or non-existent. We had to make replacements, offer substitutions if there was any, and in some cases, offer refunds.”

Instacart corporate sent an email to shoppers notifying them that Publix stores would be closed for certain areas starting September 2.

Email to Instacart Shoppers regarding Publix closures on September 2.

Email sent September 1 to Instacart Shoppers regarding Publix closures starting September 2.

Additionally, Instacart corporate was rumored to stop orders from being processed in certain areas as an acknowledgement of inventory issues and shopper & customer safety.

For others, business slowed to a near stand still as residents prepared their homes for impact or otherwise left the area to evacuate. French cafĂ© Le Crave experienced a significant impact on their sales during the prep week. Lead Server Tana Market said the following.

“It really slowed things down. Because I’m a server, I rely on my tips, so when there are no customers, I’m struggling. We just have to hope that after the hurricane is over that that we have power and can make up from the week before.”

In an effort to boost business before the storm was forecasted to hit, management offered a 25% discount to all customers on Sunday September 1, a free drink with purchase on Monday September 2, and a free coffee and 50% discount to first responders on Monday September 2. After the weekend push for sales, the restaurant opted to close on September 3 and reopened for regular business September 5.

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