Sainsbury's responded by claiming it can provide receipts that prove six out-of-stock items were in fact being traded at the store featured in this issue. But 20 different reports of exposed shelves paint a very different picture. Granted, fresh produce stocks have been hit by the wettest July on record - but only three of the 14 out-of-stock items were fruit and veg. But Sainsbury's is not alone. Out-of-stock items in The Grocer 33 are also creeping up at Asda and Somerfield. With 89% availability in the last four weeks, is all the attention from private equity suitors finally distracting operations?