National firework shortage causing price hike, concern over inventory
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Shooting fireworks is a long-held tradition many look forward to each year as they cap off a Fourth of July filled with family, friends, and patriotism. This year, however, customers may end up paying a little more and having a harder time finding the fireworks they are looking for.
A national shortage is leading to less fireworks on the shelves at many stands this year, which in turn, is causing an increase in prices.
Fireworks stands, especially many of the small mom-and-pop stands that are frequently found along roadsides, reportedly have less in stock this year due to shipping delays. Some of those in the firework business say it’s taking double the amount of time it usually takes to receive the shipments, which come from China.
“Between the supply shortage and due to Covid, the shipping cost increases have nearly tripled and has caused an increase in prices,” said Robert Anderson, the owner of Snap, Crackle, and Pop in Biloxi.
The reduction in inventory paired with the high demand has caused about a 20 percent price increase at his firework stand, said Anderson.
In addition to shipping delays, the AP reports record-breaking sales from last year are also contributing to the shortage. Last Fourth of July, some fireworks stands closed ahead of the holiday after running out of merchandise. This year, local vendors are hopeful they will have enough to last throughout the day but are still cautioning people to shop as early as possible.
“The longer you wait, the less variety there is. You can come on [July] third or fourth but you may not be getting what you want on those days. You may be kind of getting what’s left compared to what you actually come for,” said Anderson. “We’re hopeful we have enough stuff to get us to the Fourth of July but I’m not 100 percent.”
Anderson said he has only received half the amount of fireworks he’s gotten in previous years. Rebuilding inventory was complicated by a complete shutdown of fireworks production in China during the height of the pandemic, reports NPR.
One surefire way to see spectacular fireworks is by leaving it to the professionals. From Bay St. Louis to Pascagoula, several cities across the Coast will put on a fireworks show for the Fourth of July.
If you do choose to shoot fireworks at home, please make sure to check with local law enforcement to make sure it’s legal to do so. Most cities on the Coast do not allow fireworks to be shot in city limits.
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