Tomfoolery Toys and Books in Meyerland weathers supply woes as holidays near

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston-area toy store is facing a unique holiday season as supply chain disruptions persist.

Carol Staley owns Tomfoolery Toys and Books in Meyerland. Heading into December, her shelves are stocked.

"In the last couple of weeks, we have seen quite a few orders we placed in June that were 'immediate ship,' meaning 'I placed the order. ship it today' and it's just now showing up," said Staley.

She said it is a daily job to make sure her shelves are stocked.

Staley is running into major delays to get products and the prices are up. In some cases, she has seen price increases from manufacturers as high as 20% over the last year.

"A lot of the manufacturers tried to keep it as low as they possibly can or could," Staley explained. "We did too, instead of passing it on to the consumer. But it does get to a point where, unfortunately, you can only absorb so much and stay in businesses. This is what our manufacturers are telling us too."

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Prices on some toys at Tomfoolery have gone up but not as much as some of the major online retailers.

"A few customers have commented to us that, 'Did you know this is $9 more on Amazon?'" Staley said.

It comes down to shipping, according to Staley.

Tomfoolery charges online customers a flat rate for shipping, so they do not factor it into the price of the item.

"Freight has gone up," Staley said. "The product has gone up, so it is a way sometimes online for them to cover their free freight, where you are going to pay more for the product."

Even with a shipping charge, people from across the country are shopping at the locally-owned store in Meyerland more so than ever before. She said their online presence has grown tremendously during the pandemic.

Staley attributes that to limited availability of products at other retailers that she has in stock.

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"There are worker shortages, so some of the manufacturers are having issues getting the stuff out to us," Staley said. "Some of them, instead of selling it themselves, online direct from the manufacturer are pushing their goods to us, so I think that is another reason why we are seeing more out-of-state and online orders."

Tomfoolery is stocked right now but Staley is already concerned about 2022. Manufacturers have told Staley there is the possibility there will be a price increase early next year for the third time since the start of the pandemic.

"With the supply chain, we are being warned by our manufacturers to anticipate it maybe through next Christmas," Staley said.

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