Supply chain issues affecting toy stores in the Midlands

Families are encouraged to start their holiday shopping early this year to avoid any last minute issues.

LEXINGTON, SC – The South Carolina Midlands have recently felt the effects of supply chain issues, including local toy stores.

At Learning Express Toys in Lexington, they will not be able to restock certain toys once they are sold.

“We already know there will be things that we can’t rearrange this year, so once they’re gone, they’re gone,” store owner Paige Watson said.

Learning Express is full of toys, gadgets, and stuffed animals, but some items will be easier to store than others.

“If it is a smaller product, [vendors] may ship more in a container, but it’s often those larger products that are more of a problem, ”Watson explained.

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The store orders toys from over 100 vendors to sell locally. However, according to Watson, some of these suppliers are having problems getting their products and shipping them on time.

“We’ve had some hints of it all year round and the salespeople have warned us that there are some issues with the supply chain: with the truckers, with the containers, so we tried to stock up as much. as possible for Christmas, ”Watson said.

It’s mid-October, but outside of Learning Express is a sign encouraging shoppers to start holiday shopping to avoid any issues.

Supply chain problems are not just here, but are felt all over the world.

Sanjay Ahire, professor of operations and supply chain management at the University of South Carolina, likened the supply chain to a choreographed dance:

“Any grade or step that goes wrong in the training, and you feel the damaging impacts, it just goes haywire and that’s what’s happening right now,” the professor said.

RELATED: The Supply Chain Crisis Is Hitting South Carolina Locally

Ahire said that the demand for the products is increasing, but the supply cannot keep up for several reasons. One is that “manufacturing plants cannot operate at full capacity due to natural disasters, COVID and lockdowns.”

Ahire said manufacturing issues are causing the disruption in the supply chain. Add to this the lack of truck drivers and containers backed up at ports, and “everything from the Far East: electronics, toys, shoes and clothing have been affected,” he said. he declares.

That’s why Watson suggests holiday shopping early in the year, especially for toys.

“If you see it and you know your kid really wants it, I would go get it,” Watson added.