JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – To add to the long list of COVID-19 related shortages, consumers can expect difficulty in finding fireworks this Summer.
According to local store owners, fireworks haven’t been scarcer in years. The largest shortage is in assorted packs, where supply issues compound. When a pack is missing a individual component, companies are forced to wait or ship incomplete packs.
Even when the pack is prepared, however, shipping delays are causing even more difficulty according to Benny Lyons, assistant chief of the Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Lyons said a vast majority of supplies are coming from China, then being sent out to buyers from US-based distributors. Once inside the US, shipping faces few problems. It’s getting them over the ocean that seems to be the sticking point.
The Stoney Creek VFD is running a firework sale in order to fundraise for the year, and plan to open on June 20. While they anticipate sales to be high due to local shows being cancelled, he also said what they have now is all that will be available for the season.
“From what we ordered the previous year, it went up around $7,000 on us,” said Lyons. “The supplier we used last year, we only got half the product from those folks. I ended up going with another supplier.”
Other regional firework stores are facing the same problem, with Shoot ‘Em Up Fireworks and Granny’s Fireworks confirming similar supply bottlenecks.
“Buy them when you see them,” said Robin Horner, owner of Granny’s Fireworks.
Lyons stated the inventory they have now is all they will end up getting for the season, which ends July 5.