301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

10.20.22 – KSHB – KANSAS CITY, Mo. 

Supply chain issues in the trucking industry are having a domino effect. Without shipments making their deadlines, local businesses are bearing the brunt of the situation.

Holly Pollard, who owns Brookside Toy & Science, is hoping to beat the clock this time around after being blindsided last holiday season when her orders arrived mid-December.

“It was almost like it was too late. You know, it was here in my store but still in a box. I couldn’t even get it out. Then we had it going into next year,” said Pollard, “Last year was really really hard. It was difficult to see it coming. It was kind of unprecedented as far as how deep that really affected everybody — us especially.”

As soon as Christmas was over, the store took a look at its inventory levels immediately and started planning for the upcoming holiday season. Pollard says it is hard deciding whether to buy in bulk and risk not getting merchandise or go for smaller shipments and pay more in shipping costs.

“I start that conversation with ‘What do you even have, in stock, that you can ship right now?’,” said Pollard. “With the holiday season and gift giving season on its way, you need to have those things in your store — like now.”

One customer is wasting no time on her end either. Susie Bradford says she is much more aware of the limited choices and decided to shop for Christmas and birthday gifts months ahead of time after last year. She has been choosing alternative options or shopping more in-store as opposed to online as well.

“I recognize as a complete position of privilege that I can have the time, and take advantage of time, to shop ahead where some families can’t,” said Bradford. “I try to do that to make room for the families that have to wait till last minute, so they have things available to them.”

Kelly Stromberg, owner of Helianthus Books, is also another local business feeling the pinch of the supply chain break. She says there has been delays every single time since she started her pop-up bookstore during the pandemic.

“Every pop up, there’s at least one that I wanted to get in time and it just didn’t come. Sometimes its a few weeks, sometimes its a few months,” said Stromberg.

She says as a seasonal pop-up store that curates books around holidays and history months, making sure certain books arrive in time for the duration of that season is crucial.

“My curation is focused marginalized communities,” said Stromberg. “So if I don’t have those books in time, there’s just less I offer to that community which I want to bring out.”

KSHB 41 talked to Scarbrough Group of Companies President and Chief Operating Officer Adam Hill, whose company is a full service international and domestic transportation provider, to better understand what to expect this holiday season.

“I do think we’re going to see issues still. I don’t think they are going to be anywhere near the last couple of years,” said Hill, “I think when it comes to Christmas season, we’re gonna see more things stocked, we’re gonna see better shelve selection and things like that.”

After a year of shortages and delays, Hill says big companies are forgoing the “just in time” approach and making sure they are stocking up ahead of time.

Scarbrough’s warehouse located in Liberty has grown from 80,000 to 416,00 square footage in just 18 months to better get prepared for the holiday season.

“In order for the pendulum to get in the middle, it has to swing both ways right. So we were really really lean for a really long time. And now everyone is getting fat. Everyone is saying how much inventory can I bring in and how much stuff can I get in,” said Hill. “And then we’ll come to what is kind of the new inventory levels that won’t be as lean as they were pre-pandemic but also won’t be as heavy as they are right now.”