Supply chain spooks Halloween stores, owners work overtime to keep shelves stocked

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The nationwide supply chain problem is now taking a toll on the Halloween industry, but it doesn’t scare Julie Gump. Gump owns Make Believe Costumes & Dancewear in Jacksonville.

“It’s been a really tough time for a year. Shipping has tripled,” she told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant. “We just work around the clock to get it done. So right now I’m fully stocked and proud of that.”

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Gump said orders that she made in January would typically be delivered starting in April, but many of those orders still haven’t come.

“Some we probably won’t get at all,” she said.

Make Believe has been in Jacksonville for 33 years, this is the first Gump has seen these delays.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend a record $10.14 billion on Halloween. That’s up from $8.05 billion last year.

An ongoing labor shortage is clogging two of the United States’ largest ports which is creating shipping delays.

Gump suggested customers shop early to make sure they get what they want.

“Everybody waits until the last minute, but I hope people come in early,” she said.

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Action News Jax asked a JAXPORT representative if they are seeing the same labor shortage and delays as other large ports.

In a statement, they said “JAXPORT’s operations have remained fluid throughout the pandemic, thanks in large part to the efficiencies of our labor unions and terminal operators.”