GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Local stores are advising customers to start their Christmas shopping early this year as many are experiencing a lack of Christmas items due to supply chain issues.
Mike Kapp, owner of Taylor Creek in Green Bay, says he normally receives Christmas items in the summer, but this year a large percentage of the Christmas items still haven't arrived.
"It's been frustrating waiting on things," Kapp said. "We ordered our Christmas back in January and normally all of it's here by the end of July, beginning of August and there's probably a good 30 to 40 percent we haven't seen yet."
He says the delays are mainly caused by the workforce shortage. A lack of longshoremen at shipping docks and a lack of truck drivers means many stores don't know what items they're going to receive and when.
"We call and they don't really have an answer, unfortunately," Kapp said. "I was talking to a rep of mine the other day and things that shipped in July they haven't seen yet because they're stuck in the port and some of the things that shipped three or four weeks ago are showing up in the warehouse."
Diane Gerhard, owner of Homestead Decor in Bellevue says she also ordered her Christmas decor at the beginning of the year and estimates she still hasn't received about 60 percent of it.
"It's really hard," Gerhard said. "We don't know what we're getting in now. We could get spring in, we could get fall in, we don't know."
She says many of the spring and Easter items she ordered last year are just starting to come in now. With no end to the delays in sight, she estimates many of her Christmas items won't arrive until after Christmas.
She recommends customers get started on their Christmas shopping as early as possible. Come December, she says she has no way of knowing what items she'll have in stock.
"The earlier the better," Gerhard said. "We're trying to get in as much as we can and put it out as fast as we can."
Aside from starting your holiday shopping early, store owners also recommend calling ahead to ask if stores have the items you're looking for and checking back in with stores to see if new items have arrived.
"The best thing is be prepared in what you're looking for and check with your local stores," Kapp said. "Get out there, support our local community, and it's basically going to be you have to shop and see what you can find."