How two local businesses are handling the supply chain shortage

Local News

We’re now a week away from Black Friday, and a lot of shoppers are paying more attention to small businesses instead of big stores to find their gifts.

One of the biggest reasons for this is because of a supply chain slowdown — an issue affecting businesses across the country, including those right here in the Quad Cities.

Abernathy’s and Wind Dancer Boutique are two small businesses in Davenport with two different situations.

Abernathy’s receives a lot of local support.

“We have a really good, strong relationship with our local artists,” said co-owner, Nicole Perez.

Meanwhile, over at Wind Dancer Boutique, they outsource outside of the Quad Cities.

“Most of it’s domestic,” said owner, Mhisho Vuong-Lynch. “There are some items that we do outsource from Nepal, and those items take a little longer to get to.”

As holiday shopping season begins for both, price will be key to how competitive they can be with larger businesses, especially with shipping backlogs for those larger retailers.

“With our items, they’re pretty unique, so we buy from these smaller companies that haven’t raised their prices,” said Perez. “So let’s say something was super out of our realm. We just won’t get that, and we will lean on our local artists to help us supply the store with way more awesome stuff.”

At Wind Dancer Boutique, that supply backlog can be a bit more of a problem facing shortages among some of their highest selling items.

“I think I just waited three months to receive some large soy pillar candles that we carry, and that’s the longest I’ve ever waited for them,” said Vuong-Lynch. 

She adds that she is paying much higher shipping rates for her products.

“If we have a big weekend coming up like Black Friday and put an order in two or three weeks ago, as a small business, we can’t really afford to pay for expedited shipping, so we’re paying for the most standard, basic shipping,” said Vuong-Lynch. “Even then, you’re looking at, sometimes, a couple hundred dollars for a shipment, and we’re just waiting four to six weeks for that shipment to come in.”

She has seen a 10% increase in inventory prices in just six months.

“We just eat it,” said Vuong-Lynch. 

This is a sacrifice she says is necessary to stay in the game.

“We really can’t raise our prices here because we have to stay competitive,” said Vuong-Lynch.

Both businesses hope shoppers will remember the impact small businesses have in the community.

“We’re doing it for little to nothing, also, so we’re putting money back into this community, and when you shop here … you’re doing the same thing.” said Vuong-Lynch. 

“Your support means everything. I mean, it directly feeds the families that the people are working at,” said Perez. “It gives us opportunity to gain more employees — just supporting each other.”

Both small business owners say that customers and vendors have been very supportive and understanding.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories