By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
CHRISTMAS tree vendors yesterday voiced fears over inventory shortages with one revealing they had to source product from further north than normal.
Ryan Turnquest, owner/ operator of Ryan’s Christmas Tree Garden, told Tribune Business that while sales have been strong since the Thanksgiving Day holiday, he is worried about the availability of trees this year.
“We’re rolling out our trees. It’s getting more and more difficult to get Christmas trees, but we will be rolling out. It’s the availability; trees are not as available as they used to be,” he explained.
Mr Turnquest said these shortages have forced him to source Christmas trees from Canada rather than his regular supplier in North Carolina. Despite this, prices have not increased beyond the “regular increment, as with everyone else, with regard to freight. And the variety of trees has improved due to the assortment of Canadian pine trees in the product mix.
“People have already been buying their tree from the weekend before Thanksgiving. We are highly Americanised with our holidays now. We celebrate Thanksgiving, and we want our Christmas tree for Thanksgiving dinner. It seems like the whole world is getting into the Christmas spirit now. Every year it gets earlier and earlier,” Mr Turnquest added.
Tanya Heastie, general manager of Shop Smart, said sales have gone “really well” even though they only sell artificial trees. “I think people are really embracing the Christmas spirit this year, especially since the lockdowns came to an end and I have been having no complaints,” she added. “We just want people to shop early, shop often and shop smart for this Christmas season.”