With supply chain causing shortages, toy stores advise shopping early

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Christmas seems to have come early at Toy Shelf, the small independent toy store in Grandville’s RiverTown Crossings mall.

“Our weekends have been like Christmas weekends, so we’ve been really busy,” owner Shirley Moore said.

That’s good news for businesses right now, but it could mean bad news for parents looking for freebies.

“I would suggest shopping early because if I have it in stock now, I might not have it in stock later,” Moore said.

The replacement items that had been waiting in the back stash are instead in a shipping container thousands of miles away, with little chance of getting here by Christmas.

“That’s a lot of it. It’s a lot (that) some companies can’t get boxes, can’t get things to finish packing the toys,” Moore said.

It seems that Santa’s Workshop is facing the same global supply chain issues as other industries. It affects everyone, from small vendors like The Toy Shelf to big boxes, like Blain’s Farm & Fleet in Walker. Blain’s seasonal Toyland typically fills several rows in the front of the store from October through December with toys. This year, seven weeks from Christmas, many shelves are already empty.

“My advice to people is to try to figure out what you need as early as possible because you never know when a store is going to run out of toys,” assistant manager Kyle Collinge said.

If you see this must-have item on the shelf, you might want to grab it to avoid Christmas morning disappointment. And have a backup plan when you go to the store.

“Getting a general idea of ​​what someone wants. If you can’t get that very specific toy, we have many other options that can satisfy that need,” Collinge said.

Moore has been proactive this year, ordering early and often to have items in her store.

“I started ordering in July, which normally — I mean, I order all year round — but normally I don’t really start stocking up until late October, early November,” Moore said.

His planning may not yet be enough to ensure that Santa’s sleigh will be at full capacity on Christmas Eve.

“I have a few companies that are done taking orders for the year. For a lot of things, I don’t know if I’m going or not,” she said.

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