Supply shortage is impacting shoppers and stores this Halloween

LOS ANGELES – Tucked away above a lighting store, up a steep narrow staircase, is a land of ghouls, masks, fake blood and pirate costumes: Adele’s of Hollywood, a store costume which has been a landmark in Los Angeles since 1945.

One recent morning as Halloween approached, shoppers were looking for the perfect party outfit that was pouring into the store – the large metal door that opened and closed every few minutes. The store is deceptively large, almost a magic trick of depth and perspective with hundreds of costumes to rent and buy, all crammed into a wraparound space with low ceilings and corners stacked with boxes labeled “extra wigs,” “Clown costumes” and “vampire accessories.”

What would you like to know

  • The Los Angeles Port Commission on Friday voted to implement “Container Excess Dwell Fee” at the Port of LA
  • Shipping companies will be charged $ 100 per day per container if their cargo is not picked up on time
  • There are currently 74 ships waiting to unload cargo outside the Port of LA and Port of Long Beach.
  • Small business owners affected and had to wait longer for some items to arrive, including Halloween costumes

Co-owner Nadya Saidy, whose family has owned the business since it opened, answered non-stop calls: “Hello, Adele’s of Hollywood, yes we still have a lot of costumes, last minute is our specialty!”

The massive rush was a relief for Saidy, last year the pandemic canceled many Halloween plans and the store lost 80% of its typical revenue. This year, said Saidy, the numbers have fortunately improved.

“This is the first time since the pandemic that anyone can really cut it short and have fun together, now that we have the vaccine,” she said.

But Saidy and other retailers are now facing a new problem that is in part due to the continuing impact of the pandemic: supply chain shortages.

The Port of LA and the Port of Long Beach are overcrowded with 74 ships waiting to unload their cargo. Much of the cargo that had already been removed from the ships was not moved and subsequently some props and costume parts did not arrive on time. In other cases, items that would normally take a few days to deliver will not be delivered until after Halloween.

“Some of the things that we really miss, like fairy wings, we didn’t expect such a high demand, so we don’t have enough in stock, and they wouldn’t arrive on time,” Saidy said. . noted.

However, their business was not substantially affected, as Saidy orders costumes over the summer. However, as she noted, delays and overall issues with supply chains caused prices to increase slightly.

“It’s not with huge margins, but people are struggling right now. So for them, it’s a huge margin.”

In the run-up to the holidays, in an effort to speed things up at ports, the LA Port Commission voted on Friday to implement a “living charge for excess containers.” The fees will begin on November 11 and last for 90 days. Shipping companies whose cargo lingers at the port and is not picked up on time will be charged $ 100 per container, with fines increasing by $ 100 per container per day. The new policy will last for 90 days in the hope that it will speed up the movement of goods at the port.

Earlier this month, the Port of LA also began operating on a 24-hour schedule. President Biden announced the new hours. The new schedule is another way the Ports Commission and the White House are working to reduce the number of ships and containers at the port.

Shipping issues affect businesses across the spectrum, from small, family-owned stores like Adele’s of Hollywood to Amazon. At Adele, customer Danielle Goldsmith said she searches for the right costume and accessories online and in person.

“I noticed on Amazon there was a lot less amount and inventory of things they could fill in a day or two,” she said. “It was a lot of things that could happen by November 2.”

After delving through Adele’s many costumes, Goldsmith found what she was looking for: an Alice in Wonderland themed costume from the “Mad Hatter”.

At 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, the line at Adele’s was stretching through the store, and despite the many challenges over the past two years, Saidy was grateful.

“We are very happy to be here again. We are a family business… We are happy that things are improving this year. We hope they will continue to do so. “

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About Bob C. Zoller

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