Despite supply shortages, some local retailers see record holiday sales

Supply shortages meant retailers across the country had to order earlier and be more flexible. Despite these issues, some local retailers saw record high sales.

One of Victoria’s Toy Store’s biggest suppliers of baby dolls faced intense shortage issues, manager Denise Stari says, and orders trickled in one doll at a time. The store still doesn’t have its full order.

Some of The Backpacker’s orders for larger items like kayaks and ice chests also weren’t in on time, though the store got items like apparel and shoes in quickly, says Tyler Hicks, vice president.

However, sales at both stores were higher than they were during the 2019 and 2020 holiday seasons. At Victoria’s, sales were the highest in the store’s 37-year history, Stari says.

People were tired of being stuck at home and wanted to have a more normal holiday season, Stari says, but customers were also worried about products being stuck on ships and wanted to physically go out and buy. This led to customers shopping earlier and increased business for local stores.

The Backpacker had a lot of what its customers wanted in stock, Hicks says, and did a good job of letting them know they had it, a strategy it’s now trying to use more often.

“The mood was different,” says Sarah Corie, manager of local shoe store Earthly Concerns. “People were more hopeful, even if it was temporary, and it influenced gift giving and purchasing.”