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Indianapolis stores impacted by fireworks shortage

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Posted at 10:53 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 00:31:35-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A shortage of fireworks is having an impact on central Indiana businesses and could affect your Fourth of July plans.

"It's not a good thing for people who want to come in and buy because it's just like the PlayStation, you're not going to find it," Mary Fredette said.

She's the manager of Great Grizzly Fireworks on East Washington Street in Indianapolis.

Fredette has been in the business for more than 17 years and said she has never seen such a shortage.

She said most fireworks are imported from China and must be shipped on boats. They can't be flown on planes since they are explosives.

And because international shipping companies are trying to make up for time and money lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears fireworks are a lower priority to move quickly.

"They're shipped here and it takes eight months, well they're three months behind because China was down for three months because of COVID, and because of that, that's why we're having a shortage, and most of the fireworks are stuck at customs and it takes months to get through," Fredette said.

She said she's lucky because a couple of shipments arrived this week, but Great Grizzly is a wholesale company and has to turn customers away, including some main buyers.

If you're planning on shooting off your own fireworks this year, she has some advice for you.

"If you have a store next to you and it has fireworks and you plan on shooting off yourself, go get your fireworks as soon as possible, as we did last year on the fourth, we sold out on the third, Fredette said. "People were rushing in on the fourth and we had nothing to give them, we will see a repeat of that this year."

The current situation could lead to a shortage next year as well, she said. Her store hasn't raised prices, but don't be surprised if you see price hikes at other places.