The COVID-19 panic buying is pretty much over. Toilet paper is back in business and we don’t have to prepare for a punch up every time we hit the supermarket. BUT things are certainly NOT back to normal. You just have to take a glance over the empty Kmart shelves to see that all is not right in retail.

I recently had a full-on tantrum about the gaping empty Kmart shelves where my elusive sausage roll maker should be sitting just waiting to come home to its reserved spot in my kitchen, squeeeezing between the pie maker and the air fryer (all Kmart of course). I suggested it’s all one big conspiracy and that it was just a way for the Kmart power-heads to taunt us and make us covet the Kmart goodies even more than we do now.

But looking around my Kmart, clocking all the big wide empty gaps, I’m beginning to think my theory was wrong. It may be good business sense to limit the supply of one in-demand item….but not half the store. That would just be plain old silly.

Kmart shoppers are NOT happy!

Kmart fans have been all over social media moaning about the empty Kmart shelves. Some say their local discount outlet is a ‘ghost town’, with others complaining that shelves have been vacant for weeks.

It seems though the REAL reason behind the non-existant stock is pretty boring and a bit of a cop-out really. Apparently, Kmart is having hassles with keeping up with shopper demand.

“We’re experiencing unusually high demand for some of our product categories both instore and online,” Kmart said in an official statement.

Not Impressed About The Empty Kmart Shelves!

Hmmmm…not impressed. When there was a run on loo paper, Woolworths and Coles pulled out all stops to increase supply in a big way. The CEOs of these major brands would send emails every day explaining what they are doing to counteract the frantic panic buying. And it’s all action stations go!

But Coronavirus has been around for months now and I just think Kmart buyers and stock people should have had enough time and insight to increase supply levels of popular items and keep their shelves full.

And yes, we know there have been issues with products coming from China. But we know that deliveries are coming through now so it’s not a good enough excuse anymore.

empty kmart shelves 2

We’ll Have To Wait TWO Months!

The discount retailer admitted that stock levels will not return to normal until late July.

“We expect stock availability to improve soon and to normalise by late July. We appreciate your patience as our teams work hard to deliver the products you need, at the time you need them most.”

I Don’t Want To Wait!

No Kmart, you should not appreciate my patience. Because I.am.NOT.patient. You are a massive wealthy corporation. You should have an abundance of super-clever planning and contingency people working in your head office. I am tired of waiting!

Comments from other disgruntled shoppers have been flying thick and fast:

“You would think they are closing. Aisles on both sides of same row, [row] after row empty. Don’t bother shopping for months.”

“I went for an egg flip over the weekend and I was shocked to see the shelves empty! There was nothing on the shelves, especially the cooking utensils.”

“I went to Kmart today and the shelves were literally EMPTY. A few serving boards left. Virtually no crockery, plastic ware … row after row were just empty.”

“Went to my local Kmart on Saturday and the whole place was almost empty!! It’s an absolute joke,” another unhappy shopper said.

empty kmart shelves 3

It’s Not The Workers’ Fault

Of course, there are always those fervent Kmart supporters that will stand by the brand despite their incompetence. But most of the comments of support were actually directed to the poor staff, who get the brunt of the abuse.

“Give the poor workers a break guys. They can only just keep up to the demands, COVID has put such pressure on everything,” said one sympathetic commenter.

I am not saying for one minute that this is the floor staff’s fault and unfortunately they are the ones that cop it most of the time. Those supposedly clever Kmart clogs that sit in their ivory tower somewhere don’t get a harsh word, it all gets directed at the innocent staff.

“I am a sales rep and go into lots of Kmart stores regularly and hear people going off at the staff! Leave them alone!”

Absolutely! Find the email of the Kmart MD (his name is Ian Bailey) and email him instead!

Have you noticed empty Kmart shelves in your local store? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • Avoiding many big shops to mitigate the risk of covid. But excited to shop online at Kmart!!


  • I haven’t been to KMart for ages. Brings it home how much is imported.


  • Yes our local Kmart is out of a lot of things, but they aren’t the only store that’s suffering. I’ve noticed places like Shiploads are also understocked


  • Just maybe it’s something to do with the loss of workers in China due to the coronavirus when everything was shut down. They have to bring their industries back up to speed – in the meantime, I do hope some Australian manufacturers jump into the space left and sell these goods they have made themselves. I would pay a few dollars extra if I knew it was Australian made again. Come on Breville/Kenwood factory in Huntingdale – step up and make these goods here again.


  • Ooh, I have noticed. I keep returning in hope that stocks will be re-filled, but now I know they won’t. I did appreciate an email from KMart updating me on the schedule for stock refills so will be patient.


  • It was pretty freaky walking around finding empty shelves everywhere but also it’s expected especially when something in the trade line being affected which would affect everything. It is what it is things will go back to normal in a few months can’t wait to get a sausage roll cooker everyone raves about even Matt Preston was raving about it He convinced me to buy one Lol ????


  • Not a fan of seeing empty shelves :(


  • I went to Kmart and yes the shelves were bare but I am ok with that. Maybe it might help out our own Australian produces.


  • Only go to Kmart to purchase clothes and toys… big w or target ALWAYS have stocked shelf’s , much rather shop there then Kmart


  • I haven’t been to a Kmart store for over 6 months now. Maybe it’s now dawning on people that most of our items are coming from China or other overseas countries. Now’s the time for Australia to get back into making products ourselves.


  • Of course the shelves are empty- everything from Kmart is imported


  • They are empty because there is no head warehouse so when the stock gets sent from China it get packed to go too each store


  • I haven’t been into any store for 2 months – I don’t think I am missing out on anything.


  • Havent been into Kmart for sometime. But my local Big W and Target stores have had stock available.


  • I haven’t been to Kmart for quite a while – not in need of anything – so I haven’t noticed lack of stock …


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