Expectant parents urged to shop early as supply chain delays linger for another year

ROME, Ga. — There’s a new normal when it comes to shopping for newborns.

Before the pandemic, expectant mothers would typically come in during their second trimester. Now, parents and retailers say that’s too late.

“What was taking four to six weeks to get in, is now taking four months, five months to get in,” said Cheeky Baby owner Mary Andersen.

Channel 2′s Chris Jose visited the baby boutique in downtown Rome on Thursday.

“We saw the writing on the wall. We saw it coming,” Andersen told Jose as they walked to a back room filled with products.

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“This is no longer a showroom. It’s acting as more of a storage area because we’re ordering pallets of furniture at a time, and it’s being sold before it even gets to the store,” said Andersen. “In fact, a lot of these things don’t even have ETAs, so we’re just getting our name on a list.”

Andersen said expectant parents should start shopping during their first trimester.

The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that supply chain disruptions will ease by the end of this year but will last through 2023.

“Once there are delays somewhere in the supply chain, it kind of influences everything,” said Andrea Hall, owner of Wee Bee Baby Boutique in Chamblee. “I just kind of assume that I’m not going to be getting anything in the next week, it’s probably going to be weeks or months from then.”

Hall is also a mother of a 1-year-old. She and her husband became the owners of Wee Bee Baby last July.

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“This craziness is all we know from owning our business. I’ve never known a normal supply chain,” said Hall. “I was pregnant during the heart of COVID on the rise and everything that I bought was online, not in person. I just kind of had to assume I was making the right purchases.”

To combat delays, Hall told Jose she’s relying on U.S. manufacturers. She’s also aware that strict COVID lockdowns in China will likely cause further supply chain issues.

“In most cases, I haven’t been able to receive accurate shipping estimates from our vendors. No one is really willing to give me an accurate assessment because no one has one,” said Hall.

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