It’s a tough year for firework retailors in Southwest Missouri

Fireworks stands have popped up over the last month throughout Southwest Missouri, but the industry is facing strong headwinds this summer due to several factors. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Fireworks on display at Big Charlie’s

First, there was the 2020 part of the pandemic, as cities canceled their large, and free firework displays that can draw 1000’s of people. This resulted in recorded sales, as an owner of a firework stand in Joplin told me they did three times the amount of business last year. As the pandemic moved into its second year it continued to affect the flow of goods from China, including fireworks.

Vince Hudkin with Big Charlie’s Fireworks in Joplin says customers in Southwest Missouri shouldn’t wait until the last minute and should buy early. “This is the biggest shortage year I’ve ever seen. And it’s partly due to the pandemic and it’s partially due also to last year, because of the pandemic, and everybody had their supplies, everybody had record sales, and so they had no leftover inventory for this year.” Hudkin also highlights that these shipping delays are affecting almost all industries. And that over 90% of fireworks are made in China, and about 90% of firework sales happen July 1st through the 4th.

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