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As traffic increases after the pandemic local stores face supply chain issues and encourage customers to shop early

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I took a quick walk around the Gettysburg Square this morning and talked to some shop owners. The responses were similar across the board: The pandemic was tough, but things are getting better. The fly in the ointment right now is keeping the stores stocked.

“It was tough for a couple of months, but it’s picking up; people are more comfortable getting out,” said True Friends Boutique owner Deb Bair.  “October is usually a good month.”

At the Redbud House, owner John Lansing said “it’s a little better than I would have expected,” but expressed concern about keeping products on his shelves “Every company I order from has different issues. I’m casting a wide net,” he said.

Lansing said people in Gettysburg were out looking for things to do but that this shopping season would be different than those in the past. “If you’re Christmas shopping, shop early. If you’re patient, everything will be fine,” he said.

At Fourcorners Comics and Games, owner Holly Kritchten was optimistic but also realistic. “We’re doing pretty well now, but it wasn’t easy during the pandemic,” she said. “We delivered; we did live sales.” Kritchten also expressed concerns about stocking her store, particularly for popular items such as the Pokemon brand. “There are lots of products we can’t get in,” she said.

Kritchten said a paper shortage was creating delays in the availability of comic books. “I don’t know what’s going to happen; there are storage containers just piling up,” she said.

Mark Fox, owner at Sweeet!! THE Candy Store was also concerned, although he said his business had done alright during the pandemic. “I was pivoting from day one, but once people realized they couldn’t go anywhere else, they started coming here,” he said.

Fox said his store had tried to sell its products online but that it hadn’t really worked out. “People like to get out; they like the tactile experience; they like to experience the happiness.”

Saying the problem was particularly acute on the east coast, Fox called the supply chain problem “a logistical nightmare.” 

“I’ve been buying for Christmas since June from anyone who will ship,” he said.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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