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Toy store owner in Fernandina Beach says nationwide supply, demand issues may impact holiday shopping

A local toy store owner is encouraging people to start early with their holiday shopping rather than later.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Just like last year when it was difficult to find toilet paper, well that’s something we can possibly see again but instead with gifts.

The co-owner of Villa Villeekula neighborhood toy store, Theresa Duncan says their biggest challenge this year is getting inventory in stock.

"I'm already starting to see people calling me looking for toys that their kids have seen on YouTube. They are getting line and they are seeing these toys are at extraordinary prices and they are trying to figure out what’s going on," said Duncan. 

The national retail federation is expecting that this year’s holiday sales will increase between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent. That’s an estimate between 843 and 859 billion dollars.

Compared to last year’s holiday sales that grew 8.2 percent from 2019 and totaled over 700 billion.

“We have seen a little bit of increase in our cost for some things because the cost of shipping have skyrocketed, but a lot of our companies that are not having to ship things aren’t really seeing those rises," said Duncan. 

Duncan says there have been many manufacturers who aren’t taking any more orders for inventory for the season part of the reason is due to the pandemic.

“There’s a lot of reasons is what our manufactures are saying. I think it’s kind of when traffic gets back up on the highway. The accident that caused the traffic back up might be cleaned up but it still takes a while to catch up,” said Duncan. 

Duncan says this year is all about educating consumers.

"Obviously, if you see something that you want for the holidays get it right away. This year I think you are going to see Black Friday be more about the experience rather than the discounts because I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of discounts," said Duncan.