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7:39 pm, Dec 06
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Supply Chain Struggles Burden Local Businesses

Business, Featured

Child picks up toy car from toy store shelf. | Image by mustafagull

The COVID-19 pandemic made it rough for small businesses across North Texas, but a recent supply chain shortage is proving to be another challenge. The owner of The Toy Maven – Preston Hollow, Candance Williams, told WFAA that people have already begun holiday shopping before supplies have a chance to stock up.

“This year has just been exacerbated,” she explained. “Business has not ever been this stressful. We’ve seen just a litany of missed shipments, things that have gone to the wrong store, just a lot of errors along that part of the supply chain that we normally don’t see.”

Williams runs all three toy store locations, including one in Dallas. She said her main problem at the moment is keeping each location stocked. Williams received a notice a few months earlier about possible supply problems.

She told WFAA that this early warning from her manufacturers allowed her to plan ahead. Williams began stocking up on supplies in May so her stores would not be hit as hard by a shortage.

“There are only two rooms in my entire home that do not have floor to ceiling toys stacked in them, and that’s just what we had to do this year to make sure we have product… just put it everywhere,” Williams said.

According to WFAA, North Texas is not the only place being hit by supply chain issues. Across the country, there is a lack of truck drivers and warehouse workers.

The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association president, Rebecca Oyler, said the truck driver shortage in the U.S. was present before the pandemic, but COVID worsened the problem.

“With the pandemic, the demand for freight has exploded. Pandemic shopping hasn’t really let up so supply chains are really struggling to keep up with the demand for shipping and purchasing,” Oyler told WFAA. “We have a truck driver shortage here in the United States. We’ve had one for some time actually, but the pandemic made it much worse.”

President Joe Biden’s administration said the port off of Long Beach, California, will be in operation 24/7 to ease the burden of these problems throughout the upcoming holiday season.

A supply chain expert at the University of North Texas, Dr. David Gligor, told WFAA that this decision would help, but it would take time.

Gligor said, “It should help, but we can’t expect things to go back to normal within days or maybe not even weeks. It’s gonna take a long time to see a significant impact.”

Cadie Magagne, who owns At LaBelle Braiding and Beauty supplies in Dallas, said the shortage had affected shipping times for her store products. Magagne’s store sells hair extensions and other products, and orders that used to take four days are now taking a month to be completed.

“This week, I lost so many customers, because they were tired of waiting and they had to go somewhere else and get their hair,” she said.

Magagne plans to open a third location, but she told WFAA she is still hoping that the shortage issues will improve. She said, “I’m a little bit depressed because I don’t know how long it’s going to take.”

The supply chain shortage and its negative impacts could be felt into 2022, according to WFAA.