TACOMA, Wash. — School supplies might be hard to find this back-to-school season.
Experts are predicting that the distribution shortage impacting many industries and businesses could lead to a school supply shortage.
Dale Fusch is the president of Strictly for Kids in Tacoma, a school and teacher supply store that also sells and manufactures playground equipment and furniture for childcare facilities.
Fusch said on top of the pandemic, the distribution shortage has made it a difficult year for his business.
Shortages on things like wood, steel and plastics have meant late shipments and Fusch said suppliers have raised their prices, meaning his orders have gone up thousands of dollars in cost.
"They've almost all raised prices at the beginning of the year, and some have raised prices multiple times," Fusch said. "Several suppliers are on their fourth round and saying expect more soon."
Now experts are saying the shortage could impact the number of school supplies on the shelves.
"We are used to, in America, being able to shop for everything and get things, and we're seeing that that's not exactly happening right now," Fusch said.
He said parents should avoid procrastinating this year if they want to find everything on their list.
"If you wait until the last minute, don't anticipate that you're going to be able to find everything you need," Fusch said. "Be ready to go to a lot of places to shop if needed."
For the school supplies that are available, experts are saying you may see a slight price increase.
"Don't expect the bargains, but I don't think that the prices are going to be so outlandish as they are in some of the other products," Fusch said.