‘This is a year like no other’: Local toy stores face supply chain shortages – WCCO

MINNEAPOLS (WCCO) – It looks like supply chain issues are causing problems in Santa’s workshop this holiday season.

Toy stores across the state have spoken to WCCO about the struggle they’ve had to stock store shelves. Retailers say kids will want to get these wish lists at the North Pole as early as possible this year.

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Some might think it was Christmas morning in St. Louis Park about how Amy Saldanha tore up the packages in her open Kiddywampus pop-up store.

But when you hear how long she’s been waiting for some of this stuff, it makes sense.

“The backlog in the ports, there are not enough truckers, there are not enough trucks. All along the course it’s kind of a hot mess this year, ”said Saldanha.

In many cases, the toy store has had to give up some orders in May and rely on manufacturers to find different toy trucks and dolls to keep the kids happy.

“It’s been a huge upheaval this season, just like everyone else, just to make sure we have enough inventory to put on our shelves, and of course it has to be the right inventory, it has to be the best of the best, ”said Saldanha.

90 kilometers southeast of the Twin Cities, Lark Toys also began stockpiling this summer to be able to fill its 20,000 square foot space in Kellogg.

“This is a year like no other,” said Miranda Gray-Burlingame of Lark Toys.

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“We kind of threw our net wide and knew we would get some of it and not all of it,” she added.

Both stores noticed shortages across the board.

“Some of our stuffed snakes took months to get here, so we moved this display here for a little while, some puzzles are struggling to come,” Gray-Burlingame said.

Both owners are grateful to their loyal customers and their commitment to buy local after a few difficult years. They hope parents this holiday season have an open mind and hurry up.

“My mom reminded me of Picasso’s quote that if he didn’t have red, he used blue. If you can’t find what you need, find the next best solution, ”said Gray-Burlingame.

“Buy early, shop early, shop early. If your kid has any idea what he wants, get it now, ”urged Saldanha.

Both stores told WCCO they didn’t expect things to improve much with the toy supply chain until 2022.

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