Maybe it’s a case of life imitating art.

Maybe it’s just companies taking advantage of a public trend.

Or, maybe it really is a wave of fear sweeping the nation.

Whatever “it” is ‘survival’ today is becoming a big business!

The situation isn’t merely the usual well known websites and catalogs that sell food, storage, and supplies. Many very well  known common retailers are quickly getting into the act.

Recently I saw a YouTube video taking at a Walmart in Idaho that had an entire isle labeled as “Preparation Center”. It showed shelves full of canned freeze dried and dehydrated foods (I didn’t recognize the brand but there are so many private labels these days), water storage barrels, first aid kits, even portable solar panels. Even my local Walmart stores, while not nearly as well stocked as the one in the video, has been carrying a surprisingly good variety of Mountain House meal pouches all with the max dates (indicating they are fresh/new stock).

On the Costco website (as of writing this) they have expanded their survival foods to include food packages from Thrive (as well as expanding to include more water storage and first aid items). I don’t see any particular reason to buy Thrive from Costco instead of directly from their website but I suppose some people would feel more comfortable buying from a known retailer like Costco than from Thrive directly. Some blogs and websites have said their local Costco has canned long term storage foods and other supplies on the store shelves as well (haven’t seen it yet in mine).

And I have been told BJ’s has similar offerings too.

So the question is: Why?

Why the sudden interest for large national retailers to be not just carrying but highlighting prepping items? (Glenn Beck doesn’t have that large of an audience!)

As I stated in the opening of this article, it could simply be seeing a growing niche market and businesses moving to service that market. Or, perhaps it’s an indicator that prepping isn’t such a “niche” market after all; That prepping has been adopted by far more of the broader American public than discussed (and usually portrayed as ‘extreme’ or ‘radical’) by the media at large.

Some “experts” claim that when everyone and their grandmother gets into a field then it’s time to get out. A classic example is the New York City taxi cab drivers in the 1980’s turned stock brokers because at the time it was where the easy money was. The same people are saying that about gold as there are “We Buy Gold” signs popping up in stores everywhere.

So is it the same for prepping?
Does it mean there really is no likely economic disaster looming that would lead to wide spread shortages?
Does it mean this is all just a passing fad, fueled by fears of uncertainty?

Natural disasters can and do always happen.
Financial events, the so-called Black Swan events, can happen for reasons that even “experts” find hard to explain.
And the unknown is by definition unknown.

But these things have always been with us. Yet few retailers have shown an interest in catering to preparations for such events.

Until now.



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About suburban

We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.