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Supply chain issues affect inventory for Eugene toy stores

“If you see something, buy it now. It may not be available later."

Posted: Oct 18, 2021 6:29 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2021 6:49 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The pressure is on for small businesses, as the supply chain crisis continues to take a toll across the world.

With Christmas right around the corner, this is just one more added challenge in the fight to stay afloat.

KEZI checked in with multiple business owners who say they began preparing for this well ahead of time.

Andrew Agerter is the manager of Eugene Toy and Hobby, a shop that just celebrated its 88th anniversary.

“We have a lot of companies in the Pacific Northwest that get stuff to us in about a week to two, but other things can take upwards of a few months to see something,” Agerter said.

Agerter said his store typically stocks up around late August -- but this time around they’ve been doing that since the end of April and leading into May.

“So many things are sold out -- Hot Wheels, Mattel, Lego -- we're not getting shipments that we made earlier in the first half of the year,” Agerter said. They say they're gonna get some stuff out, but we'll see.”

Brian Aljian, the owner of Bricks and Minifigs, in Eugene agreed. He has also seen the impact firsthand.

“Half of our business is new Lego sets, and Lego is having a hard time keeping up with demand,” Aljian said.

His strategy is to buy as much as he can -- as early as possible.

“Last year I started buying for Christmas in October,” Aljian said. “This year I started buying in September. We’re trying to forecast what the demand will be, so we can have enough sets for everyone who wants one.”

Jeff Benhke is a frequent shopper at Eugene Toy and Hobby. He’s been a professional model builder for about 40 years.

“It is getting thinner and thinner because of all the supply chains and everything else,” Benhke said. “It’s getting harder, and the prices are really going up.”

Aljian described how UPS and USPS are overloaded -- as well as Lego who ships overseas. He believes the supply chain issues will continue to get worse this year.

“If you see something, buy it now,” Aljian said. “It may not be available later."

Experts say supply chain issues impacting the United States are expected to continue into 2022.

“Just get out there as soon as you can,” Agerter said. “The shelves are emptying quickly, and it's not just here locally. You see that anywhere you go. Things are moving fast.”

Agerter said he’s grateful that people want to support local and emphasized that staying positive is key.

“We’re holding steady,” Agerter said. “We’re going to be here next year.”

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