Toy stores warn Christmas supply could be low

Holidays

NEW YORK (NewsNation) — 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,” said Ilene Gayer, who owns HomBom Toys in New York City. “I’m not getting merchandise in. I’m not getting anything.

The problem is a global shipping backlog caused by the pandemic. 2020 was bad, and 2021 will likely be even worse. If you want to put something under the tree this holiday, experts recommend planning—and saving for price hikes—now.

Suppliers say the plastics they need are being used to make syringes. “It’s a mess,” Gayer says. “A total, total mess.”

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.

“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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