Supply Shortage Affects Last-Minute Halloween Shopping National Supply Shortage Affects Last-Minute Halloween Shopping

Ordering costumes and decorations online may take weeks to be delivered

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Finding the perfect Halloween costume days before the big holiday is a little bit harder than usual this year.

That’s thanks in part to the national supply shortage, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortages of food, paper products, technology and people working in these crucial industries are being felt across the nation.

Students like Chelsea Brown, who has three costumes ready for this weekend, said she had to travel to a couple of different stores to find exactly what she was looking for.

“One of my costumes I’m going to be is Bonnie and Clyde with my friend,” said Brown. “I had to find some vintage looking-like skirts and shirts.”

Mega online retailers, like Amazon, notable for Amazon Prime and it’s two-day shipping, are seeing delays well past Halloween weekend. In some cases, costumes ordered today won’t arrive on your door step until mid-November, the earliest.

The delays in shipping can be traced back to the bottlenecking at American ports along the west coast. In California, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach see about 40% of all imports to the United States. During the pandemic, the ports operated at limited capacity, forcing shipping containers to remain at sea for weeks.

To relieve this stress, on Oct. 13, the Biden Administration announced that both ports will operate on a continuous schedule, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Also announced in his speech at White House, FedEx, UPS, Walmart and Home Depot would also expand hours of operation to help ship out the goods being brought into the country from the cargo ships.

In the event you find yourself a part of the last-minute shopper crew, you may have better luck finding something in a physical store around Syracuse, like Spirit Halloween and Party City rather than pushing your luck on Amazon. Though their shelves may not be completely empty, supplies are dwindling.

“We opened a little bit earlier than some other stores, so we are a little bit low on somethings,” said Lindsay Anders, an employee at Spirit Halloween in Mattyville. “But we do have a pretty big selection as far as, you know, the size of the stores goes, and stuff and the time.”

Since it’s late in the season and shipments of decorations and costumes aren’t coming as frequently as they have in years past, you may have to settle for something you we’re exactly looking for, but it will do the job.

The National Retail Federation projects that $10.14 billion dollars will be spent on Halloween this year, up from $8.05 billion last year.

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