Toy stores brace for holiday shortage due to shipping delays

PEPPER PIKE, Ohio (WJW) – For months, retailers have been warned of a possible nationwide toy shortage just before the holiday season, as supply chain issues and shipping container issues continue.

It’s one of the many reasons Sean Arnold, owner of Play Matters Toys at Pepper Pike, started stocking his store for Spring Break.

“Time is your best friend. We acted early, and so we bought more and we bought it sooner than we would have in a normal year,” Arnold said.

According to the Toy Association, more than 85% of toys sold in the United States are made overseas, putting additional pressure on local toy store owners.

The Toy Association‘s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Adrienne Appell, said: “As we kind of predicted, we’re not really seeing these big sales or reductions because everyone is worried about inventory. .”

“Their kids have a lot of screen time, and so they’re looking for things that balance that out…puzzles, things that challenge their minds,” Arnold said.

Some of the season’s must-have items are currently on her store’s shelves, but for how long?

“Now that we’re sitting here, something we’re ordering right now, something new, we’re in the same boat as everyone else,” Arnold said.

Cheryl Barr is currently on a waiting list for a toy her grandson would like to have under the tree on Christmas morning.

His advice to last-minute shoppers this season?

“Get out early, go to multiple places, put your name on waiting lists in case product arrives, and maybe look for other gift ideas,” Barr said.

On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine urged the federal government to join Operation Open Roads, a multi-state effort to suspend what they call binding regulations on the trucking industry in order to to ensure small businesses and American consumers have access to the goods they need this holiday season.