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Mom-and-pop stores may be more appealing for holiday shopping this year

Wildlings Toy Boutique in central Phoenix is fully stocked despite the global supply chain crisis and truck driver shortage.

PHOENIX — Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

Worries over toy shortages, slow shipping, and rising prices mean many are starting early, and not waiting for deals.

Toy Insider Senior Editor James Zahn said that's smart because the toy you want to gift your kid might not be on the shelves the next time you head to the store.

"Across the U.S. we have these regional outages directly related to the supply chain issues because truckers are not getting these things to the distribution centers and out to stores quick enough," Zahn explained. "You might go today and find tons of product, it might not be there tomorrow and it might be weeks before it gets restocked."

On the other hand, he said you could luck out. 

"There could be a fresh assortment of toys in a couple of days, that’s stuff that should have been here in October and is just hitting stores now."

Jennifer Mawcinitt, owner of Wildlings Toys Boutique in central Phoenix, said some of her customers go to her store after finding empty shelves at big-box retailers. 

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"We opened in August and have been so fortunate that the community has embraced us, and we've been busy since we opened," she said. "We're seeing people choose in-person shopping, and hearing more and more people say they're going to big-box stores and shelves are empty so they're out here in the community looking to the local stores."

Mawcinitt said she is impacted by the global supply chain crisis but there are still plenty of options at her store.

"We have been impacted, we're ordering different toys we're not getting in as much as we'd love to have on our shelves, but we have fully stocked shelves because we're ordering a wide variety of toys," she said. 

What are you waiting for, it's time to shop!

"This year brick and mortar is more important than it has been in recent years," Zahn stated. "This year, the best assortment might be at your local retailer and not just the big boxes, independent local specialty stores, and toy stores, very important."

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