Global transportation and supply chain issues are disrupting businesses around the world, the country and The Valley. The Valley Reporter contacted local retailers about the issue this week and found that for many supply chain issues have been an issue throughout the pandemic and for others they have been persistent and unpredictable.
At Mehuron’s supermarket in Waitsfield, Bruce Hyde Jr. said the company has experienced serious supply chain issues.
âOne of our major wholesalers is reducing every order by 30% because they don’t have enough staff to pick up the items from the warehouse. It’s a huge national wholesaler and every week 30% of our products – and it’s random – don’t arrive, âhe said.
âBetween the labor shortage and the material shortage, I think we’re going to see the situation get worse for all grocery stores before it improves. We do pretty well with fresh produce. What we can see is rather than 20 options for some products, you’re going to see two, âhe added.
John Wilson of Bisbee’s Hardware, Waitsfield, said there were just some things his staff couldn’t get and others were taking a long time to happen.
âJohn Rousseau, our inventory manager, was very good at finding and ordering items as they became available. We’re getting things he ordered six months ago, âWilson said, noting that what they can’t get is hit and miss – smoke detectors, paint lines and canning supplies.
At The Collection in Waitsfield, Yvonne Fugate recently released her first catalog and finds herself in the position of not having the products she featured in the catalog.
âYes it’s real, we definitely have supply issues,â she said.
Donna Kenyon, of Kenyon’s Variety Store in Waitsfield, said supply chain issues have been a problem since the start of the pandemic. She said it was difficult to predict what would be available and what would not.
âDog food was one thing we couldn’t get because the manufacturers couldn’t get the cans. Culverts, PVC pipes, fittings – anything metal and plastic. You can’t promise customers anything because you don’t know if you’re going to get it, âshe said.
At Alpine Options, Warren, Darin Lambeth said the store does well with durable goods like skis, snowboards, boots and helmets.
âThe problem is the clothes. We all expect our clothes – like any industry – it’s all about shipping, âhe said.
Splinters Boardshop, Warren, is also experiencing delays in outerwear, clothing and accessories. âThis season, about 40% of our planned inventory is still not there,â said Travis Kerr. “We have a lot of product in shipping containers in LA”
âThings are definitely slower for us,â said Todd Sheinfeld of Mountainside Ski Service, Warren. “A lot of manufacturers are exhausted”, especially European manufacturers. âIt’s a long cycle, flexible products are even longer. We know it’s going to be slow to get to us, then a mad rush. He said the prices have gone up because of the shipping costs. Customers arrive and order things much earlier than in a typical year. âWe drive in a truck,â he said.
Marnie Davis of 4orty Bridge Street, Waitsfield, said the store gets products from its European manufacturers, although things happen gradually, rather than all at once, making it more difficult to track products. Some shipments were canceled because manufacturers could not obtain products like yarn or fabric. She said the products are coming slowly, but they are coming.
Dave Darr of Darrad Services in Waitsfield said his IT business had not been significantly affected. He also said he expected things to take a week or two longer than in the past and that he relied on the U.S. Postal Service rather than the shipping companies.
When asked if they’ve experienced any shipping delays, âDelayâ is a quick word, âsaid Barry Bender of Clearwater Sports, Waitsfield. âThere were articles with significant delays. Some spring items just arrived last week, âas was a cargo of canoes. “These boats should have been here at the end of July,” he said. He said some non-textile products that should have been in the store months ago are coming, although some parts are still missing. âIt keeps changing. Every day surprises us. It’s Christmas everyday âwhen the going. They received a lot of partial deliveries. The shoes were delicate. âWe try to encourage people not to wait for another color, you never know if we will see that color. This seems to be the normal way things are, unfortunately. “