JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -- Christina Decker, the owner of Midwest Cyclery in KC, said business during the pandemic “was the shining star of a very sad situation”.
“First, it started in the Spring," she said. "Kids were all out of school and at home, and mom and dad needed to find gym class. So, they got them a bike and kicked them out of the door to give mom and dad peaceful time and gyms closed."
That created a major rush in business.
Fast forward to today and, like many industries, her business is struggling with ordering.
“One of our employees was online ordering brake pads," she said. "He was trying to fill the shopping cart with the other few things that he needed andm by the time he hit 'check out' they were gone, and that was a matter of minutes,” Decker said.
This is because of a major port backup in Los Angeles and Long Beach that is holding all the supplies.
Luckily, Decker’s store is filled with bikes and additional inventory because she started ordering things way in advance and in large quantities.
“We have been stocking up, thinking, watching, trying to make sure that we have bikes in stock for Christmas,” Decker said.
While she may be stocked now, that large stock isn’t guaranteed as we get closer to Christmas.
On top of that, any special orders will most likely be extremely difficult to fill.
Decker said, “Don’t wait. Don’t say, 'Oh, I’ll get it next month,' because it won’t be there. That’s the scary part. It truly won’t be there and it won’t be anything that I can say, ‘Oh, I’ll just get it for you.’”
Decker said the most important thing for customers is to shop early in general, but also to be patient with businesses because they are just trying to do their best.
“Supply chain disruption has been really impactful for our business,” said Seth Freiden, CEO/Owner of U.S. Toy in Overland Park.
When you look around Frieden’s store, most of the shelves are fully stocked. That’s because those are U.S. Toy's own products that they import, design, and develop.
“As a business, we can’t survive on just the margin that we make from selling Lego," Frieden said. "We need to have the stuff we design and develop that makes us unique, and customers come to us because they can’t get it anywhere else."
As for the shelves with domestic vendors like Lego, they’ll be less stocked.
“We placed reorders, but it’s not fully stocked like the way we normally would," he said. "All these peg hooks would normally be full and they are not because our fill rates from domestic vendors are less than desirable right now."
Just like Decker, Frieden encourages people to shop sooner rather than later this holiday season.
“If you are a person that wants to wait for a deal, there may not be that item you are looking for come time when the deal comes around. So, if there is something you know you want under the tree go ahead and get it now,” Frieden said.