Medford stores see increase in business with eclipse travelers, residents

Medford, Ore. — Grocery and outdoor sporting goods stores in Medford are seeing an increase in business that employees are attributing to the total solar eclipse happening on Monday. Between local residents and tourists flocking to Oregon, sales are up.

“It’s not everyday you get a solar eclipse,” Ricky Brown said.

Brown and his family are on a road trip, just passing through Medford. They left Seattle around 5:30 Friday morning, on their way to the California redwoods. It’s an annual trip for the family that they planned around the eclipse this year.

“The car’s loaded with snacks and waters,” Ricky Brown said. “I have two kids, and they’re always thirsty and hungry.”

The family stopped at the North Medford Fred Meyer to grab a few more things for their trip.

“We need to get some things, like water shoes,” Brown said.

The browns aren’t the only ones to stop and shop. While exact numbers aren’t available, according to reps from both Fred meyer and Safeway, all of the Medford stores have seen an increase in sales in the past 24 hours.

Local businesses are feeling the impact too. Blackbird Head Cashier Jodi Toews said as customers come through the line, they have very specific reasoning for their purchases.

“Gas cans, and sleeping bags,” Toews said. “They’re afraid there’s not going to be gas where they’re going.”

The exception seemed to be Sherm’s Food 4 Less. The store is still busy, but Assistant Store Manager Myles Doshier said an increase in business hasn’t been noticeable.

“Lots of questions about eclipse glasses, but not a lot of passerby’s looking for camping good and stuff that those people would be looking for,” Doshier said.

That doesn’t mean they’re not prepared; Food, snacks, and water are at the ready,

“We’re always ready for that kind of thing,” Doshier said.

If you are still needing to get supplies for Monday, make sure you have plenty of time to get through parking lots and check out lines. Most stores are expecting business to only increase.

It’s not just grocery stores that are seeing a boost in business because of the eclipse. Medford marijuana dispensary ‘Weedbucks’ has seen customers from across the country, and around the world.

“We’ve had people form Japan, Wyoming, Utah, the East Coast, Florida, they’ve been from all over,” Owner Cindy Gua said. “It’s really impacted our business and it’s been increasing our sales everyday.”

Other dispensaries tell us they’ve seen an increase as well.

NBC5 News also reached out to three liquor stores in Medford, but none of them are reporting any increase in business.

Natalie Weber produces and anchors the weekend broadcasts of NBC5 News at 6 and 11. She reports during the week for NBC5 News at 5 and 6. Natalie is also the spokesperson for S.O. Close to Homeless, a community discussion on homelessness in our region, started by Access and NBC5 News.

Natalie began her career in journalism as an intern with NBC5 News during her senior year at South Medford High School. Following graduation, she was promoted to Producer for the morning news broadcast for NBC’s sister station, FOX26, then to Producer for NBC5 News at Sunrise.

Natalie took a break from news to work for the Medford Police Department as a Records Specialist. However, she missed the fast-paced environment of the newsroom. Natalie moved back to her hometown of Eureka, California to start her on-air career with North Coast News KAEF ABC23 before returning once again to NBC5 News.

Natalie attended Southern Oregon University. She enjoys spending time with friends and family as well as running, reading and exploring Southern Oregon.

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