Toy stores warn Christmas supply could be low

Consumer

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — It’s still summer, but already shipping backups around the world are threatening to steal Christmas. Some retailers are getting worried about holiday inventory.

“I’m having a nervous breakdown from this,” Ilene Gayer, who owns HomBom Toys in New York City, said. “I’m not getting merchandise in. I’m not getting anything.

“It’s a mess. It’s a total, total mess.”

The problem is a global shipping backlog caused by the pandemic. 2020 was bad, and 2021 will likely be even worse.

Manufacturers like Hasbro are doing what they can to get Christmas toys and board games around the bottleneck and get creative with their sourcing.

But, even when merchandise gets to ports like Los Angeles, there often aren’t enough longshoremen to offload cargo.

Suppliers say the plastics they need are being used to make syringes.

If you want to put something under the tree this holiday, experts recommend planning — and saving for price hikes — now.

“The companies are now telling us that when you do get our new shipments in, the prices are going to be astronomical,” Gayer said. “We don’t even know the percentage yet. It could be 10, 20, 30% higher.”

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