Toil and Trouble for holiday toy shoppers

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 6:35 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s a real holiday Scrooge: shipping delays and clogs.

Even as the LA ports are opened 24/7, supply chain issues could spell some toil and trouble for the holidays

Nikki Brzescinski, with Mildred and Dildred, was stocking up some of their new arrivals. While it’s only October, they’ve been getting ready for the holidays since June, a month or two earlier than normal.

“We started to need to react early because we started realizing that there were going to be issues like way back early in the year. We started having a lot of things on back order,” said Brzescinski.

Several reports point to a toy shortage, another supply chain issue is the bigger Grinch. From the Suez Canal back up in March, sluggish LA ports, power outages in China and more, even once products do get here and off the ports, fewer truck drivers are around to move them. According to the American Trucking Associations, the US is down about 800,000 drivers.

“We’ve been seeing things come in slower than we expect, but we’re still getting things,” said Brzescinski. “There are some companies that we buy from that aren’t accepting any more orders for the rest of the year because they’re having their own internal issues.”

These are just a few of the reasons Julia Tucker, who was shopping at Mildred and Dildred, might be buying for a birthday gift in October, but is skipping out on the holidays.

“I’m anticipating not buying anything. I’m probably going to be giving my children and husband cash because I don’t want to have the stress of waiting to go buy stuff or to have stuff delivered,” said Tucker.

Big box stores have been prepping too. Walmart, in their Q2 report, said they ended the quarter with 20 percent more inventory, ready for the holidays, but said more general merchandise was out of stock than normal due to COVID-19 delays. Toy maker, Mattel is showing big gains in certain toys. You may want to look out for their popular items before they’re gone. They show dolls, action figures and games are popular this year. Still, there’s holidays to be had, especially if you shop early.

“Christmas isn’t cancelled. I think that should be the takeaway,” said Brzescinski.

President Biden said he’s considering deploying the national guard to ease supply chain crisis during his presidential town hall Thursday with CNN.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.