With all major highways between B.C.’s Interior and the Lower Mainland closed due to record flooding, local retailers are experiencing extreme shipping delays.
“We have had product that was supposed to be here in September,” said Freeride Boardshop Manager Brock Warr. “And now we just found out that it could be here in February.”
The concern is that if stores can’t re-stock soon, they’ll be emptied out before they know it.
“We just have to work with what we got, and be patient,” said Eskala Mountain Sports owner Claudia Reyes.
Flooding, slides force major B.C. highway closures
The small business sector is still recovering from the pandemic. Christmas and Black Friday sales were supposed to be the saving grace, but retailers have been left waiting for product.
“I have confirmation that my orders coming for Black Friday and the Christmas season are all stuck in Vancouver,” Reyes said. “We are just waiting, and we just have to just be patient.”
Online sales are no better off. Reyes says she doesn’t know when her customers will receive their orders.
“My shipments are stuck on the way to Vancouver, so whoever is waiting for whatever I shipped will have to wait a while.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said that the immediate priority is to reestablish connections from the Lower Mainland to the Interior and north parts of the province.
“We know how important (it is) to open routes and to have supply chains moving,” Fleming said. “That is our focus.”
Until the highways reopen, local retailers are being patient. Warr urges consumers to remember their local shops.
B.C. floods: Officials say despite supply chain problems, no need to panic buy
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