SEALE, Ala. (WRBL) – According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, fireworks costs are up 35% in the industry following the pandemic. The effects are being felt all over the country including locally at the Fireworks Outlet. A location that is recognized for its large warehouse and popular commercial.
Mary “Boom Boom” Baker, the Manager at the Fireworks Outlet, credits the rise in prices to the low employment rates and high gas prices.
“Truck drivers are hard to get to make the delivery to us so they went up on fireworks and gas; everything has gone up,” said Baker.
According to reports from National Public Radio, overseas shipping, transportation in the U.S., rising insurance costs and labor shortages are all to blame for the challenges ahead of Independence Day.
The Fireworks Outlet has been experiencing a trucker shortage that has caused the prices to go up. Finding truck drivers with their hazmat licenses to transport the explosives has been few and far between.
The store has also been experiencing challenges purchasing smaller explosives like sparklers and snappers. Baker said the inventory has been limited however, the store is not limiting customers and will continue selling until they sell out.
Frank Phipps is a customer of the Fireworks Outlet and said he buys fireworks twice a year for different holidays. He typically averages about $200 for fireworks but said he expects to spend $250 this year due to the higher prices.
“I’m definitely going to have to limit what I buy you know, cause you can only spend so much especially with gas prices the way that they are. Money is getting tighter, groceries are getting up and everything is getting up so unfortunately, I’m going to have to start budgeting how much I spend,” said Phipps.
Popular fireworks like the Saturn Missiles and the 500 Gram Cakes are just two of the popular explosives consumers like Phipps are looking to purchase but aren’t finding before the holiday. Despite the Fireworks Outlet receiving shipments of 1,200 boxes every few weeks, the shortages stemming from external factors all over the world continue affecting local vendors.
Phipps said if the costs continue to rise he sees himself having to cut down his order of fireworks by about 50%.