Crowds are returning to stores this Black Friday, but supply chain issues pose challenges – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) – This Black Friday the bargain hunters did something we haven’t seen in over a year – they showed up in person.

As CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported, crowds of shoppers were seen walking in and out of Loop storefronts all day Friday. It was a welcome change for retailers after the pandemic kept many home buyers last year.

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But this comeback of Black Friday could make the supply chain challenges we’ve faced in recent times even more difficult.

In 2020, Tami Doig was not comfortable shopping anywhere. A year and three COVID-19 injections later, she was out with her daughter in the South Loop.

“I’m not interested in the crazy people trying to be part of the crazy big box mess, but we wanted to support this store,” Doig said.

The store she was talking about is Kido at 1137 S. Delano Ct., a local business that sells clothes, books and yes – the toys on your little one’s list.

Owner Keewa Nurullah said the flow of customers has reached pre-pandemic levels today.

“The tide has turned,” Nurullah said. “People are shopping. We see our favorite families shopping.

And she expects the increase in holiday shopping to continue.

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But due to supply chain issues, she is already running out of scooters and musical instruments.

“Things will go away,” Nurullah said. “It makes things stressful when you have these bestsellers that you know how to sell each year, and they just aren’t around this year. “

And that’s even after she’s already stocked up on some of her hottest holiday toys months earlier than usual.

Big box retailers also stocked up early. Black Friday crowds were dense as they were filmed in the Chicago Fashion Outlets in Rosemont, and Aurora police tweeted that the Chicago Premium Outlet Mall had reached capacity and temporarily stopped letting shoppers in.

Back in the South Loop, Nurullah is considering ways to help customers if the gifts on their list are gone.

“Our client is, they’re with us for a reason, and so if we give a suggestion for another item that might fill its place, I think they trust us to make those choices,” she said. .

Even with these challenges, Nurullah is just happy to welcome its customers again. Last year, about 80 percent of its vacation sales were online.

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Right now, its sales are around 50-50 – half online, half in-store.

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