Local shop navigates shipping delays ahead of holiday shopping


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – From national giants to small local shops, retailers across the country are battling global supply issues and shipping delays.

Boutique shop Fancy & Staple and toy store Hopscotch House in Fort Wayne are no exception. But, owner Taber Olinger took matters into her own hands to keep her shelves stocked.

“My vendors first started warning me in the spring that shipping delays were on the way. It wasn’t until late summer that I took them seriously and then I just started immediately ordering. I was contacting my vendors and telling them, ‘Ship me what you have, like as soon as you can.’ I ordered way more than I usually do,” Olinger said.

With all the extra inventory, Olinger created her own “warehouse.” Now as products sell, she’ll be ready to refill the displays.

“Now we just have it and don’t have to worry about it coming because it’s already here,” she said. “I’m stocked through the holiday season and probably into January.”

Olinger is also stocking her stores with even more locally-made products.

“I love our local artists and already carry their goods, but it just made more sense to order more from them because then I don’t have to worry about shipping or worry about when it’s coming or if it’s coming. They hand-deliver it to me. They’re coming to my store and filling my order completely and immediately, so I have a lot more of that in the stores this holiday,” Olinger explained.

Both shops are on Broadway near downtown Fort Wayne. Olinger opened Fancy & Staple in 2015.

“I had been traveling a lot and in all the bigger cities there’s a lot of cool shops that you can go and they’re full of unique things and I just thought, you know, why is it Fort Wayne doesn’t have this? It’s not fair that we don’t. We’re just as cool,” she said.

She opened Hopscotch House a few blocks down this past spring.

“As we watched the way people shopped and what they were looking for, there’s a kids section [at Fancy & Staple] and they really liked it. It made sense to kind of jump on that and there were no other toy stores in Fort Wayne, so it made sense and I’m a giant kid at heart,” she smiled.

She hopes people will continue to support local shops as they check off their holiday shopping lists.

“Shopping small is so important to our community. It keeps my store and lots of other small shops open for business. It keeps all the local makers and artisans busy,” she said.

Now with a worry-free warehouse of her own, shipping delays won’t mean a delay in Christmas.

“I’m feeling good about it now. We’re ready to go,” she said.

On the other end of the spectrum, WANE 15 also reached out to Amazon to see how the retail giant is impacted by the global supply and shipping issues. The company declined to do an interview, but a spokesperson said the company is always adapting how it forecasts its products to have them available. Amazon uses predictive and historical purchase information to have certain products in facilities that are closer to where they are in-demand. It also ordered products earlier this year than in previous years.

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