Retailers warn to start holiday shopping ‘sooner than later’ because of supply shortages

ATLANTA — Retailers are warning shoppers that now may be the time to prepare for the holidays with no end in sight for shortages and delays that could impact buying gifts for your loved ones.

Joe Novack has owned and operated Kazoo Toys in Buckhead for nearly a decade.

Throughout the pandemic, he told Channel 2′s Chris Jose that he’s dealt with shortages and delays, and he anticipates it will impact holiday shopping.

“So if I’m a parent watching this today, and I’m wanting these specific products, I should come buy this sooner rather than later?” Jose asked Novack.

“Sooner than later. All of these are on order. I don’t know when they’re going to ship these items,” Novack said about several toys in his store. “Things we’re getting told: ‘You’re getting shipped in September’ is becoming October. October is becoming the end of October. And we’re starting to get scared when things become November.


Dr. Christina Scherrer teaches supply chain and logistics courses at Kennesaw State University. Jose asked her Monday why there are so many delays.

“We have issues in the productions of toys in Asia. We have issues with those toys being shipped to the U.S. and then we have issues with the transportation from the ports in the U.S. to the toy stores,” Scherrer said.

The Port of Los Angeles tweeted on Monday that labor crews are working on 18 container ships. On any given day, dozens are stuck floating off the coast and waiting to dock.

Earlier in the month, Target posted in a blog that it chartered a container ship to make sure products arrive on time. That’s a luxury Novack doesn’t have.

“There is nothing like this. It’s unprecedented and I’ve been in the toy business since 1995,” Novack said.

He told Jose that some companies haven’t sent him merchandise for three to four months.

Others started sending shipments this past spring knowing this backup we’re seeing would continue.