Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

🎁 Holiday shopping with a broken supply chain | Business Weekly Newsletter

Not enough toys.

FILE - Shipping containers are stacked over a truck at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
FILE - Shipping containers are stacked over a truck at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)Read moreMarcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Supply chain problems could be the Grinch this holiday season. Popular presents are likely to sell out sooner or be more expensive. There could even be the saddest shortage yet: not enough toys.

But there are still reasons for businesses to be merry. Philly shoppers are expected to spend big, and companies are finding short-term solutions to supply chain bottlenecks.

If you go shopping on Black Friday, let me know which stores were busy and If the shelves were stocked or empty.

📧 Email me back here, and look out for your observations in next Tuesday’s Business Weekly newsletter.

And keep reading for a roundup of Philly business news. You can sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Thanks for reading.

— Christian Hetrick (@_Hetrick,

A global supply chain stretched thin has businesses scrambling to get goods, especially with holiday shopping underway. Some local companies have come up with creative ways to get around jammed ports and factories.

Bachman’s Roofing, Building, and Remodeling has stockpiled shingles because manufacturers stopped making sought-after colors. The mounds of shingles take up precious real estate at its Berks County lumberyard, but allow the company to serve customers who want specific shades.

Riverwards Produce Market is also buying in bulk. The Fishtown grocer recently bought 10 times more many paper bags than usual. And owner Vincent Finazzo is giving customers advice on alternative recipes when it runs out of items. He recently helped a customer who couldn’t find chicken breasts by telling her to spatchcock a whole bird, or cut out the backbone to open and flatten it.

“People should be open to trying different things,” he said. “You might not be able to get that cheese or that cut of meat or that specific item. But maybe that’s your cue or try something new.”

What else you need to know ...

Other stories ...

‘Gopuff yourself’: Hundreds of Gopuff drivers plan to strike today to demand better pay and working conditions, escalating a labor dispute between the fast-growing delivery service and many of its gig workers.

Yogurt venture soured: A creamery that makes yogurt managed to extricate itself from Ponzi schemers. But now the venture could be undone by immigration authorities.

New hospital owner: Tower Health’s Brandywine and Jennersville Hospitals have gotten a reprieve. A hospital management firm based in Texas will take over as owner of the two facilities and keep them open.

Time to get a pension: Following months of controversy and amid federal investigations, Pennsylvania’s biggest pension fund announced its top two executives would be leaving their jobs and retiring.

Drunk on power: The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has been violating a state law on direct-shipments of wines to restaurants since 2017. The agency is trying to get out of paying damages.

Money on the table: Just about every business in the area has been affected by COVID-19 and is likely eligible for one of these SBA loans.

Quitting their jobs: Almost every month, record numbers of employees are leaving their jobs. And that could be a good thing.

Video games on TV: Comcast has re-launched the video game channel G4, betting that online streaming and the growing popularity of gaming will make the network a hit this time.