SAN DIEGO, Calif. — While they won’t play Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, the Southern California business City Lights celebrates all year round.
“They have everything that you could want: cars and food, toilet paper, snowman, and toilet papers!” Maureen Downey pointed to an ornament, a long-time customer.
Located in San Diego, City Lights Year Round Collectibles Emporium has built a cult following over three decades.
Brian Young, owner of the company said it was toys for adults. It began in a small area, but soon found a niche. The company has continued to grow ever since.
It is a destination for Downey customers who are looking for nostalgic items and collectibles.
Young stated that “this type of place is becoming harder to locate, which makes the item itself more difficult to find.”
Young doesn’t expect a Christmas miracle, even though it is nearly two years since the pandemic began.
“The high cost of shipping and labor are making it very difficult to do business.
He’s one of the many retailers in America that is entrapped within a broken supply chain. As record-breaking numbers of container ships wait to deliver goods to U.S. ports, goods we depend on are left at sea.
“72 ships were waiting offshore to be offloaded. Young stated that some of those vessels have merchandise that is still unavailable.
The Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are together the nation’s busiest container port complex. They are the primary gateway for waterborne commerce between the U.S.A and Asia. More than one-third U.S. products is handled by them.
In recent weeks, the backlog has grown at an unprecedented rate.
This situation is likely to worsen as we move into the holiday season. Hitendra Chaturvedi is an expert in supply chain management, and a professor of practice at W.P. Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business.
Chaturvedi, who is teaching the next generation supply chain leaders, says that once-obscure professions are now being scrutinized.
“One of my feedback was that I didn’t have to explain what supply chain management was to my grandma. Chaturvedi said that when I told her I was going to get a degree on supply chain management, she understood what I was talking about.
Towels, cleaning products, and toilet paper are all in high demand due to the spread of the delta variant. Costco has reintroduced limits on the amount you can buy. Experts advise consumers to shop for holiday gifts now as shipping delays can lead to delays.
I speak to many CEOs of large logistics and transportation companies. Chaturvedi said that they don’t see the system improving until 2022.
High demand and large-scale labor shortages have crippled the system.
“And the third, which I call the dark imbalance of supply chain, is the last. Chaturvedi stated that when there’s an imbalance between supply and demand, hoarders can form. They would then start to buy capacity. “There were people who began to buy out shipping capacity, then sit on it and raise prices before they sold.”
Chaturvedi believes that interest rates can rise to reduce demand. He claims that some of those standards used in supply chain education are being disregarded.
“An example: the whole concept of extremely lean operations, in which there’s no inventory storage is being questioned. The concept of supply chain risk management has been given a whole new meaning.
Chaturvedi urges people to support small businesses, as they are more vulnerable to volatility.
Young said, “We’re far from being out of the woods.”
The supply chain doesn’t steal their holiday cheer, thanks to loyal customers both in-stores and online.
Young stated, “There is an old saying that if it doesn’t change, you should do your best and learn to live with it.” “We’ll get through it.”