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The Squeeze: Supply Chain Issues Causing Headaches, Frustration For Mom-And-Pop Retailers In New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mom-and-pop retailers say it seems almost everything is in short supply right now except headaches and frustration.

Supply chain issues mean lower selection and higher prices.

A grocery in New Rochelle, a toy store in Greenwich and a clothing store in Brooklyn are all sharing the same problem.

"It's really been topsy-turvy," New Rochelle Farms owner Jose Filipe said.

"Huge delays from a lot of our vendors," toy store owner Heather Rounds said.

"We're definitely feeling the crunch," Brooklyn businesswoman Galit Winer said.

"Soon as we see it in the computer, it's available, I'll buy as much as I can," Filipe said.

Retailers say there are many broken links in the supply chain -- ships stuck at sea and containers stuck in port.

"We don't have our coats. We don't have all our dresses," Winer said.

Winer is waiting for thousands of pieces for her chain of ten clothing stores.

"Once the containers get here, they're not being unloaded, and once they're unloaded, there's no truckers to bring them to us," she told CBS2's Tony Aiello.

The pandemic is causing issues up and down the supply chain.

For about a month, New Rochelle Farms couldn't get a particular popular brand of potato chips because the snack company had supply chain issues getting material to make the potato chip bags.

Store shelves are pockmarked with empty space.

Filipe feels lucky if deliveries arrive with 70% of what he ordered.

"The parts that are missing are crucial items. It's paper goods. It's meat products. It's snack foods now for the kids. It's really crucial items at this time," he said.

In Greenwich, Rounds is over-ordering from her suppliers.

"In the hopes that I will get two-thirds of it so that I have product to sell," she said.

She says customers see supply chain issues everywhere, so Christmas is coming early.

"People don't want to chance it online, so they're coming in now and shopping early," Rounds said.

When product is available, some retailers are buying as much as they can and then paying to keep it in storage.

Wholesale prices are spiking, and merchants are trying to absorb what htey can.

"Really trying to keep the cost down modestly, but it's getting harder and harder," Winer said.

"They're reluctantly having to accept the fact that prices are much higher," Filipe said.

They don't see any relief on the horizon.

"I think realistically it's going to be another holiday season with this, so that's what I'm anticipating," Rounds said.

"It used to be fun, and it got so hard from start to finish," Winer said. "When does it get normal again is the question."

It's a sign of challenging times for mom-and-pop retailers.

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