eclipse glasses

Jason Lavely holds the last five pairs of eclipse glasses available at the Sergeant Road HyVee Food Store, where Lavely is the produce manager. The store sold 4,295 pairs of the item Sunday.

SIOUX CITY — Sioux Cityans still looking to find a pair of eclipse glasses will be taking a shot in the dark.

The eyewear that allows wearers to look directly at Monday’s solar eclipse have been a hot commodity of late and in short supply.

“I’ve seen signs all over town: ‘No eclipse glasses, no eclipse glasses,’” said Rob Teeple, assistant manager of store operations for the Sergeant Road HyVee Food Store near Southern Hills Mall.

Teeple’s store was one of the few in the area to have eclipse glasses on hand Sunday thanks to Jacob Bockelmann, the store’s marketing director.

The store wasn’t carrying the item, but Bockelmann, aware of the demand, took it upon himself to drive to Omaha and purchase more than 1,000 pairs from a sister store down there.

The HyVee MainStreet store on Pierce Street followed suit and had 1,000 pairs for sale late Sunday evening.

The Sergeant Road store's initial supplies quickly sold out shortly after its 7 a.m. opening Monday. Store management said the line stretched from the pharmacy department all the way to customer service, an area that encompasses all 14 of the store’s front registers and a portion of the produce department.

After selling out the first wave, Bockelmann made another trip to Omaha to acquire more eclipse glasses. In total the store sold 4,295 pairs — five were given away via a Facebook drawing — and store employees seemed to enjoy the increased foot traffic.

“It was fun to visit with all the customers all day and see how many people lined up,” HyVee produce manager Jason Lavely said. “It’s fun when you can do something different.”

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