Amid shortage, holiday sweeps fireworks shelves clean in CSRA

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 6:09 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The whole weekend was full of sights and sounds of fireworks across the CSRA.

The fireworks were largely in backyards this year, since most public July Fourth events were canceled to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

But because of the trade war and the pandemic, what was once one of the top-selling weeks for fireworks may be fizzling.

Many fireworks dealers were swept clean for the holiday. 

“I think that probably caught a lot of stores off guard, they just weren’t expecting crowd that were out and about purchasing fireworks,” said Skip Playford, manager at Wacky Wayne’s fireworks. 

The supply might not return so soon.

When the coronavirus pandemic closed factories in China, fireworks distributors found themselves needing more but getting less.

"Well, initially, everybody was expecting shipments to come in normally but then all of a sudden with the COVID pandemic, it was, 'Oh we're not going to get fireworks out of China,'" Playford said.

He said the predicted shortage didn’t affect his business.

"We had a booming year —  literally," he said.

A booming year that led to a higher-than-normal demand.

"I just think they were overwhelmed due to supply and demand - the demand was much greater than the supply that did come in," he said.

He says the excessive number of sales over the holiday weekend punched a hole in his inventory, but he's not worried about the off-season.

“We did sell out of some items, but we still do have inventory,” he said.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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