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Supply chain issues affect Northwoods toy store inventory

Story By Morgan Johnson
Local News Published 10/13/2021 2:41PM, Last Updated 10/13/2021 8:52PM
Minocqua - Jessica Johnson's duties as manager at Imaginuity in Minocqua are pretty cut and dried. She looks for products that will catch a customer's eyes.

But for the past year, it hasn't been that simple.

"Well, since COVID, there's been a shortage everywhere and delays in deliveries, as well as the congestion for deliveries, so it makes it harder to get products for anything because now there are more steps to get it delivered and more interruptions," said Johnson.

Johnson's store is just one of the places touched by the supply chain's abnormal activity.

As a storefront in downtown Minocqua, Imaginuity relies a lot on summer tourism. That's when the delays started.

"We noticed it in the summer because we are a tourist location, so we had a demand for needing to fill our shelves in the tourist season, not just fourth-quarter for the holidays," said Johnson. "So we've seen this trend all year."

Toys are not only more expensive to buy and ship. Johnson says she's not even sure shelves will be stocked for the holiday season, but she's hopeful. Johnson says some toys' prices are up as much as 10%. When supply is down but demand stays the same, Johnson says it's not a good combination.

Her shelves look pretty full right now, but she's anticipating a busy fourth quarter before the holidays. Johnson encourages people to buy their Christmas gifts earlier rather than later. She also encourages people to buy local.

"Shopping locally does relieve that headache for a lot of people if you don't have to burden your delivery drivers because that is going to slow deliveries to us as well."

Johnson says ordering a product from Amazon will take longer than just buying it in store.
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