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Supply shortage woes have Halloween shops scrambling for stock

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It's a scary Halloween season for retailers that are scrambling to stock their shelves in time for the holiday.

Geoff Waszek, owner of Candy's Costume Shop in Toronto, said he was wary of placing orders in January, as is customary in the industry for Halloween, out of fears that another lockdown would cancel the festivities.

Once he did start ordering, Waszek said he had to scrounge to source stock from a patchwork of suppliers who were struggling with supply chain issues. 

U.S.-based HalloweenCostumes.com, which ships directly to Canadian consumers, said many of the goods they ordered won't even arrive until after the holiday.

Spokeswoman Ashley Theis said the company will just have to use  the late items as stock for next year. 

The retailers said supply shortages made it difficult to bounce back from a dismal 2020, when many didn't celebrate Halloween because of high COVID-19 numbers. This year, however, Waszek says he's happy to see how excited people are to celebrate the holiday again.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press