Holiday shoppers could face empty shelves due to toy shortage


Shoppers are being warned to get their holiday gifts early, as supply chain and shipping container issues create a looming nationwide toy shortage.

The supply chain problem is already putting pressure on toy stores, as we move into the holiday shopping season.

“Honestly when we put those orders in we’re kind of crossing our fingers that they will get here before Christmas time, ” said Allen Singleton, a toy store owner in Ohio.

Singleton adds they are already feeling the pinch of global shipping delays that only add to the rising cost of popular toys they estimate are 20% more expensive.

According to The Toy Association, more than 85% of toys sold in the U.S. are manufactured overseas. The industry supports more than 600,000 U.S. jobs with an annual economic impact of more than $97 billion.

“It’s really an end-to-end failure that’s been building since the pandemic,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Toy Association. “From the factories in China to the ports in Asia to the ports here in the United States, to the U.S. trucking industry. Every step along the way there’s been complications that have led to this massive backlog of containers, ships and cargo that may not make it to stores in time for the holidays.”

The Toy Association said it is actively advocating with the Federal Maritime Commission and Congress, working to advance legislation that would give the Federal Maritime Commission more “clout” in the future to be able to regulate the industry.

“Your local store is going to see shortages and we’re already seeing gaps at the major retailers–your Walmart’s, your Target’s–who are responding by booking their own ships and doing anything they can do to get their products in,” said Pasierb.

He said anyone shopping for toys this season should begin soon, with some of the best supply already on store shelves.

“Normally, we wait until Thanksgiving and after Thanksgiving for the best sales. Those sales may not happen this year,” said Pasierb.

While retailers large and small await orders, parents are encouraged to talk with their kids that this year could be more challenging to fulfill a holiday toy wish list.

“Make sure to let the child know if they’re filling out a holiday list to put a lot of items on and understand they’re getting a percentage,” said Singleton. “You’re not getting everything you want.”

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