Supply-Chain Mess Threatens Holiday Sales, From Hot Sauce to Board Games
Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2021 Source: The Wall Street Journal
Supply-chain disruptions are threatening to rob some companies of holiday sales, leaving them short on packaging and transportation at a critical time of year.
Some makers of toys, games and other consumer goods are racing to figure out how to get products to market, and having to decide which customers will receive orders as stocks run low. In some cases, companies are figuring out how to remake products to have something to sell during a season that can generate a big portion of annual sales.
In Casper, Wyo., hot-sauce producer Eli Dicklich said he has enough ketchup, brown sugar and other ingredients to make his Pine Ridge brand of sauces––but not enough 8-ounce glass jars to bottle them and ship to customers. For several months this winter, the shortage of jars has meant his company, Herbadashery LLC, hasn’t been able to sell its three-jar holiday packs that include jalapeño barbecue and sweet mustard sauces. Mr. Dicklich recently received a shipment of larger, 18-ounce jars and is now rushing to get those into customer homes before Christmas.
“I couldn’t fill new orders coming in,” Mr. Dicklich said. “I’m sure I missed out on a bunch.”
The holiday period is a key season for the U.S. economy, as consumers buy gifts, spend holiday bonuses and stock larders for holiday meals. For some companies, sales across the Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s Day period can make up a large portion of revenue for the year. In 2020, nearly 30% of sales at hobby, toy and game stores occurred in November and December, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and December was the highest sales month for appliance stores.