Reno retailers gear up for the holidays as supply chain hiccups continue
JaDa Loft Boutique co-owner Monica Rios, left, chats with a buyer on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at the retailer’s new location in South Reno. Photo by Kaleb Roedel.
An hour later, this customer walked out of Learning Express Toys & Gifts in South Reno with six large bags full of wrapped toys valued at over $ 500.
For Frederito and Siepel, this sale officially kicked off the pre-summer vacation shopping season.
“I think people are hearing the news flowing about supply chain issues and it’s starting to hit people’s ears that advance buying is going to be more important than ever this year,” Frederito said. “And I feel like the more people see someone getting a Christmas present in the store, it entices others to go,” maybe I should take a few things. “
“We’re starting to see it more and more as the weeks get closer.”
For more than a year, the toy industry has been supported by purchases from families stuck at home during the pandemic. Disposable family income has shifted from movie theaters, amusement parks, and restaurants to toys, as parents searched for ways to keep their children entertained.
But growing challenges rock the industry – including plant closures, computer chip shortages and clogged ports – as it prepares for the crucial holiday shopping season, an eight-week window that can represent an eight-week window. more than half of a retailer’s annual sales.
As a result, stores like Learning Express, which opened in August 2020, are seeing the kind of surge in demand that usually doesn’t happen until late fall. In anticipation, Frederito and Siepel began ordering toys for the holiday season in July, rather than waiting until October as they would in a normal year.
“We have a warehouse where we store all the products and filter them through the store as we go,” Frederito said. “The strategy was to order now and get it now to avoid shipping delays later.”
“It’s hard to be small and local,” Siepel said. “We try to be competitive with our prices compared to big box stores. But I think we’ve done a good job and have full shelves over the holidays, which is the goal. “
“A VERY Lean YEAR”
In Midtown, the owner of Carter Bros. Ace Hardware, Tim Carter, had long taken for granted his ability to order whatever he needed and then watch the goods fill his store.
This is no longer the case.
In early fall, Carter’s hardware store is dotted with empty shelves. It’s been like that for months, no matter how many times he places an order.
A year ago, for example, Carter Bros. Ace Hardware was running out of jars. Orders placed last year started to “dribble” a few months ago, Carter said.
As holiday shopping looms, Carter said he plans to order traditional Christmas items like faux trees, tree stands and lights, but found that “hardly any of this type of item is not yet available ”.
Carter said he hopes that will ease as Halloween approaches, but as demand continues to outweigh supply amid pandemic disruptions, he expects a “very year. skinny for Christmas decorations “available at its hardware store.
The challenges facing Carter’s Hardware are a testament to the extent and persistence of chaos plaguing the global economy, as manufacturers and the transportation industry face a relentless pandemic as shipping season approaches. holiday shopping.
“YOU MUST TAKE THE RISK”
At JaDa Loft Boutique, which recently opened a second location at The Crossing in Meadowood Square in South Reno, owners Monica and Victor Rios said supply chain grunts forced them to cancel orders placed there. months for summer clothes that were going to arrive in the fall.
That’s why, Rios said, they made sure to order well in advance and keep their inventory in stock so they weren’t stuck with bare clothes racks and empty shelves when shopping season. holiday season is coming.
“A store like this wouldn’t look good if you only had a few items,” said Victor Rios. “We have a lot of cargo to come out because of the concerns we’ve had with shortages and delays. You have to take the risk – there is a lot of money we have in our storage space, but there is no way around it.
The owners of JaDa Loft opened their first location in northwest Reno in December 2020. Despite opening in the face of the pandemic, the clothing store has seen sales increase every month, Rios said.
It gave them the confidence to “pull the trigger” to expand to South Reno this fall, even if it went against conventional retail wisdom.
“Most businesses are going to say that you want to have, at a minimum, a full year of sales before you look to grow,” said Monica Rios. “But we felt relatively comfortable because this place is very busy and the visibility is phenomenal. And we have a really phenomenal clientele.
Rios predicts that they will see an increase in the number of customers purchasing Christmas items as temperatures drop. She said they will be offering free gift wrap soon and plan to extend their hours of operation as holiday shopping resumes.
NO WAITING GAME
Meanwhile, Clay Hall, vice president of sales at Reno Type, a direct mail and print services company, told the NNBW in August that supply chain disruptions are having a huge impact on the industry. promotional products.
Hall said a COVID outbreak at a deep-water port in China has saved about 25% of promotional products entering the United States, a deadlock that he says “will persist for months.”
As a result, some Reno Type customers are forced to settle for items that are not their first choice. It also forced customers to buy vacation items in the middle of summer rather than wait until fall.
“If you wait until mid-October, November, you’ll either get what’s left or you won’t get anything,” Hall said. “Because the good things will go away. “