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Baby Formula Supplies Improving, Say US Retailers Walmart and Target

Two big US retailers Walmart Inc and Target Corp said on Tuesday that supplies of baby formula were improving, months after the country faced acute shortages that had caused a panic among parents.

Considering the still-existing supply constraints, Target said it will continue with the purchase restrictions both at its stores and online.

Supply Chain 

The shortage that began due to pandemic-induced supply chain issues worsened in February when Abbott Laboratories, the biggest US supplier, recalled some products and closed a manufacturing plant after reports of bacterial infections.

In response, US health regulators relaxed import policies and shipped in millions of cans of emergency supplies from companies such as Nestlé and Reckitt Benckiser.

Abbott in early July partly restarted production of certain specialty and metabolic formulas at its Sturgis facility while also importing baby formula products from its international plants.

Shortage 

John David Rainey, chief financial officer, Walmart  said on an earnings call on Tuesday the shortage the company experienced in a "big way" in the second quarter was easing.

Data from market research firm IRI also showed stock levels for baby formula in U.S. stores have improved in the recent weeks.

In its quarterly report, Walmart said it now expects a smaller drop in its annual profit as discounts to clear excess merchandise and lower fuel prices helped it beat quarterly sales expectations.

Read More: Global Baby Formula Makers Send Products To Restock US Shelves

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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