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Camping gear in high demand, Heartland store struggles to stock enough merchandise

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - During the pandemic, camping became a popular activity.

Going into Memorial Day weekend, more people are expected to head to area campgrounds, but some campers might not be able to get everything they need for their trip.

“Our biggest issue right now with doing business is getting any kind of supplies, really,” Richard Reeve said.

Richard Reeve owns Shawnee Trails Wilderness in Carbondale. He said a lot of the companies he buys from aren’t sending shipments.

“The canoes and kayaks are saying they’re not even taking orders until fall. A lot of the clothing...Birkenstock isn’t sending us anything right now and have told us fall,” Reeve said.

Reeve said some companies show items in stock, but there’s a delay on getting necessary parts, especially for kayaks.

“They’re like, ‘we got a bunch in the warehouse but we don’t have some of the seat parts to make the kayak so we can’t sell you a kayak till we have all the seat parts,’” he said.

It’s another effect from the pandemic.

“It’s just like one item’s holding up production,” he said.

He said there is one positive outcome from all this.

“We’ve noticed that we’re selling through stuff that had been sitting around, that had been overlooked for some time, so now it’s sort of like, ‘oh they got this, I’ll grab that,’” he said.

His plan moving forward is to keep checking for product availability.

“You can’t wait a day. If you wait a day, you look the next day and it’s all gone,” he said.

We reached out to some stores in southeast Missouri and they said they’re seeing a high demand but aren’t having trouble when it comes to stocking their shelves.

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