HUNTINGTON — Jeff Pleasure mentioned he may promote extra bicycles at his downtown Huntington store if he solely had extra in inventory.
“Usually we now have between 100 and 120 new bicycles in inventory to promote, and at the moment we now have 10 to fifteen,” mentioned Pleasure, proprietor of Jeff’s Bike Store at 704 sixth Ave., in Huntington. “Many of the stuff you see on the ground of the store is bikes introduced in for repairs.”
Paul Callicoat, proprietor of Route 60 Music Co., in Barboursville, is going through an identical scenario. He mentioned the shop’s stock is sparse due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We may have been in enterprise 20 years come January 2 and we now have by no means confronted provide chain points like this earlier than,” Callicoat mentioned.
Jeff’s Bike Store and Route 60 Music Co. are just some of the greater than 30% of American small companies throughout all sectors reporting a disruption to their provide chain in June 2020 information from the U.S. Small Enterprise Administration.
“We had one bike provider inform us we’d not be getting any extra bikes from them till the primary of the yr,” Pleasure mentioned. “The opposite two are principally in the identical scenario and are very low on sure elements and typically not having any, like bicycle racks that match on prime of a automobile. We haven’t had a automobile rack in right here for 2 months.”
Jeff’s Bike Store sells bicycles and equipment for bike riders, and in addition does bike repairs.
“We closed down in the midst of March because of the pandemic,” Pleasure mentioned. “I bear in mind it was a Thursday. We weren’t actually certain what was going to occur, however by Monday I had so many messages and cellphone calls that folks wanted issues mounted that I got here again in on Tuesday to work on bikes.”
Pleasure did the restore work alone for over a month.
“It was difficult,” he mentioned. “I in all probability labored more durable than even after I first opened.”
One other problem was looming within the months forward attributable to COVID-19.
“We’re additionally experiencing stock shortages with sure sizes of interior tubes and tires, in addition to common small elements to make fundamental repairs,” Pleasure mentioned.
Pleasure mentioned within the 32 years of the store’s historical past, it had by no means had these kinds of stock issues.
“Truly, when the mountain bike increase hit within the early ’90s, these sorts of bikes had been exhausting to seek out, however now it’s every part. Not simply with all varieties of bikes, however with every part, and it’s nonetheless persevering with on,” he mentioned.
Pleasure mentioned his suppliers are the three largest within the nation.
“We discovered fairly fast that in the event that they didn’t have the bikes, elements and equipment, then no person had them,” he mentioned. “We simply should cope with what we will get. We are available early within the morning and seek for elements and if we discover them nice and if we don’t, we don’t.”
Pleasure mentioned March was in all probability one of many worst months for income within the store’s historical past.
“We really had stock in March, however the demand was slowed attributable to what was occurring then,” he mentioned. “When issues began easing up, we ended up having our greatest month ever in Could. Within the months of April and Could we bought 150 bikes, so we all know the demand is there.”
Pleasure mentioned whereas the demand continues to stay sturdy going into the autumn, the provision is just not.
“We imagine the demand will stay sturdy via Christmas, however we’re involved if we’re going to have the ability to get stock to fulfill that demand,” he mentioned. “I believe we might have somewhat slowdown in October, which is the slowest time of the yr for us anyway, however we hope that may give us a possibility to restock and prepare for Christmas and the New 12 months.”
Jeff’s Bike Store at the moment has over 300 bicycles on again order.
“We’re simply ready to get them, and we stay hopeful that may occur quickly,” Pleasure mentioned.
Pleasure mentioned the store has been trustworthy with clients about provide points that the enterprise is going through.
“It’s taking place to a number of small and enormous companies throughout the nation, so I believe they perceive and they’re nonetheless ordering new bikes,” he mentioned.
Route 60 Music Co.’s focus is stringed devices, digital pianos, recording tools, stay sound methods and equipment.
In March, the shop was closely stocked with stock, in keeping with Callicoat.
“We had been nervous that if the pandemic shut us down we is perhaps caught with an enormous quantity of stock,” he mentioned. “In March all of it went south. The shop shut down and we didn’t reopen till Could 8.”
When the shop reopened, it was nonetheless absolutely stocked and enterprise was booming.
“It was nice,” Callicoat mentioned. “Folks had stimulus checks, the unemployed of us had been getting an additional $600 per week, and by chance individuals purchased some guitars with that cash. We bought a variety of our stock.”
However then the shop began having hassle getting stock. The shop has a number of suppliers — Yamaha, Taylor, Martin and no less than 9 others. It has 5 – 6 essential distributors for different objects.
“One in every of our essential suppliers has informed us we would not get stock in till October,” he mentioned. “We attempt to discover different suppliers for stock, and if we can we order. The largest downside for us is that the majority of our stock comes out of China and the Far East. When the pipeline shuts down, it impacts each hyperlink within the chain and it’s hampered in some extent.”
Callicoat mentioned he ordered 80 guitars from Yamaha and was informed he may not see them anytime quickly.
“They mentioned we would get a few of them, but in addition mentioned we would not see any of them this yr,” he mentioned.
Callicoat mentioned it’s the uncertainty of the provision chain that’s the most important concern.
“We do not know when our provide chains would possibly return to regular, in the event that they ever do,” he mentioned.
At the moment, the shop is barely 40% to 50% of its regular inventory stock.
“Proper now I’ve one keyboard in inventory,” Callicoat mentioned. “Usually I inventory a dozen to fifteen keyboards. I’ve a guitar wall that’s actually 40% empty as a result of I can’t get product to placed on that wall. We had a buyer at present needed to see our keyboards and I may solely present her one attributable to our stock scarcity. She mentioned she wanted an 88-key Notewave piano and wanted it that day. I didn’t have it, so I misplaced a sale on a $500 to $1,500 piano from the primary buyer via the door and I’d usually have that in inventory.”
Route 60 Music Co. additionally affords a music college for these eager to be taught to play stringed devices, in addition to drum and voice classes.
“COVID undoubtedly knocked our pupil rely drastically as a result of everybody was scared,” Callicoat mentioned. “Usually we’d have 350 to 370 pupil classes per week, and now we’re all the way down to round 100 to 120. I assume the excellent news is that it’s slowly coming again.”
Callicoat mentioned he believes small companies are at an obstacle versus their massive field retailer opponents in relation to getting stock.
“Deeper pockets are deeper pockets any means you have a look at it,” he mentioned.