School supply shortage could impact back-to-school shopping this year

Local News

FRESNO, California. (KSEE) – As summer winds down, back-to-school shopping is now looming for many parents. But they may not want to put it off too long. Some experts are predicting a shortage of supplies which may lead to empty shelves down the road.

“I had never heard anything. I mean I see it,” Rayna Flores said.

She said her family had just finished shopping at a big box store.

“I noticed for kids, like younger kids, they were kind of low on a lot of stuff, the drinks, the backpacks, the lunch pails,” Samuel Gonzalez Flores’ husband said.

Retailers said supply chains across many industries are experiencing a pandemic fueled bottleneck and having trouble keeping up with rising demands. Shipments are clogging ports, with a lack of workers to keep things moving. And it’s all happening as the National Retail Federation predicts record-breaking back-to-school spending.

“For teachers (spending has) gone up quite a bit because they didn’t decorate their rooms last year, they didn’t have anything to decorate for,” Elise Thiesen an employee at GW School Supply said.

Thiesen said the shortage will most likely impact backpacks, shoes, laptops, and tablets, which won’t affect their inventory at all.

“We have pencils, binders, clipboards, basically anything for school we have it,” Thiesen said.

She said the store is on the brink of the back-to-school rush but will be fully stocked for shoppers.

“We’re mostly busy the week before school starts, so this next couple of weeks it’s going to be packed,” she said.

Inventory elsewhere is expected to be tight, so shoppers are urged to avoid waiting until the last minute.

“I recommend you get your shopping done early because right now everybody is everywhere,” Flores said.

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