SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Black Friday-style lines formed around the Hy-Vee grocery store in Springfield Wednesday morning. The grocery store, which we recently reported was one of the last places in town to get solar eclipse glasses, got a new shipment of the shades in.
But with only 2800 pairs, and 700 people in line (many of them ordering 5 pairs at a time) the glasses were in high demand.
“I was like ‘I don’t think I’m going to find a parking spot,” said one customer, who was only there for groceries.
And if customers were seeing the heavy difference in Wednesday morning traffic, then you know employees were too.
“[Wednesday’s] not like this,” said one HyVee manager as he manned the register.
“I thought they were lined up at the pharmacy for some reason,” a customer said.
Due to the limited supply, HyVee gave each person a five-pair limit on glasses purchases.
“I didn’t expect the solar eclipse glasses would be sold out like this,” one customer said.
Hy-Vee Assistant Manager Jake Skidmore explains why these super shades are such a hot commodity.
“So today, we’re one of the only few stores that still has solar eclipse glasses,” said Skidmore. “We’ve got the eclipse on Monday and we’re one of the only few that have them.”
You see, for some, it’s a future souvenir.
“This’ll be the only time in our lifetime we get to see it,” one woman explained.
For others, it’s a safety precaution.
“When it happened back in the seventies, when I looked as a kid,” said customer, Geret Johnston. “I looked at it bare with my eyes and actually blinded the macula in my right eye. So lesson learned.”
But it’s also a classic case of high demand, and short supply.
“Where you’re at in the line right now I can’t guarantee I can get you glasses today,” Skidmore told a group of customers.
But even that kind of pressure doesn’t seem to be enough to keep crowds like this down.
“Our phones have been ringing non-stop so I’m sure we’ll see some more people come through,” Skidmore predicted.