Kamloops, Okanagan retailers experiencing shortages amid supply chain issues | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops, Okanagan retailers experiencing shortages amid supply chain issues

FILE PHOTO - Orchard Park Shopping Centre in Kelowna.

As global supply chain issues and highway closures rock the Interior, some retailers are low on stock this month.

For Loadza Toyz, at Kelowna’s Orchard Park Mall, there have been delays as items are stuck in Vancouver ports, said manager Nash Mad.

“There’s just been a lot of delays… there are several shipping containers with puzzles and plush that we just don’t have access to,” Mad said. “There’s nothing we can do but wait.”

Customers have been shopping very early this Christmas season, he said, with the first spike being experienced in early November.

READ MORE: Shippers prepare for another pandemic crush of holiday gifts

So far, they’ve been able to meet the demand but they are low in stock on puzzles and board games, he said.

“Everybody’s getting Christmas puzzles and board games are a really big thing for Christmas eve and for Christmas time in general,” Mad said.

Funktional, a downtown Kelowna gift, jewellery and home goods store, has experienced some challenges with getting paper bags this Christmas, said manager Maiya Kiy, adding the issue is Canada-wide.

The highway closures across B.C. due to flooding and landslides has impacted the supply, “but things are still trickling in, we still have Canada Post stopping by. I think they’re really trying to problem-solve and they’ve flown some things,” she said.

This season is on par with last year’s pandemic Christmas, Kiy said.

“Last Christmas we were in this exact position of the pandemic with limited shoppers and masking and sanitizing so we feel more ready for it.”

READ MORE: Kamloops, Okanagan retailers ask customers to shop early for Christmas due to supply chain problems

Vanessa Gammel, owner of Tumbleweed Toys in Kamloops, said deliveries have been delayed by two weeks due to highway closures, but shipments are coming in.

Gammel said they stocked up early for the Christmas season in preparation due to global supply chain issues but they are getting low on Lego and wooden train sets as they don’t carry a large supply of those items.

The latest survey from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute found a significant segment of would-be holiday shoppers are struggling to find what they’re looking for in stock. Forty per cent of online shoppers reported at least some difficulty adding to cart this season, while nearly half, 49%, of in-person shoppers encountered shelves lacking the items they wanted.

Many Canadian consumers are responding by starting their holiday shopping early this season and 35% said they are already shopping. A handful, 6%, are waiting longer this year, hoping that some of the aforementioned issues will clear up in time to get their list completed while avoiding the logjam.

Inflationary pressure on Canadians has also added challenges for some, as costs for common household goods continue to rise. Asked to assess their financial and emotional stress this year compared to others, more than half of those surveyed, 53%, said they are feeling worse emotionally and 41 per cent said the same of their economic anxiety.

Three-in-ten Canadians, 31%, said they are spending less this year than in most years, compared to 19% who said their spending will actually increase this holiday season.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Nov. 26 to 29 among a representative randomized sample of 2,005 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum.

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