Wisconsin Fireworks Are Back In Stock, But With Sky High Prices
We've been going to the same fireworks stand for years now in Douglas County, Wisconsin. Usually, I would spend about 100 bucks on a mortar package and a few other little things for the kids to fire off. In the last couple of years, the fireworks industry has faced shortages because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year we walked into the store and I was happy to see it fully stocked. Floor to ceiling they had just about every firework you could want. I went over to the section to get my exploding shells when the prices made my head explode.
I normally would spend about $60-75 to get a pretty nice assortment of tubes and about 36 shells. This year, I had to spend that same amount on just 12 double shells.
I usually buy around a 30-shot grand finale box that is generally not too spendy. What cost me a few years ago $25-30, now costs $40.
Little stuff like sparklers and assorted bags were up a few bucks here and there, noticeable but not that painful to pay for those smaller prices. When I rang up at the counter the owner told me the total was $190. With some rough math, I paid 35% more than I did before all these supply chain issues.
I didn't even ask about the prices or say anything, and the owner offered an apology anyway. I go to the same fireworks place every year. It's 3 Finger Fireworks near Amnicon Falls in South Range, Wisconsin.
The owner told me that just 4 years ago he spent $11,000 on a shipping container full of fireworks. This year he spent $42,000 for the same thing. Can you believe that?
I did a quick search online, and I found that the price increase on my fireworks was about on par with the rest of the US. According to USA Today, prices are up 35% in 2022 due to supply chain issues, material cost increases, and labor costs.
They were very helpful at 3 Fingers and very appreciative as always of our business. I'm sure it's got to be scary to be spending that much money on inventory and hoping people will still buy fireworks with prices being so high. I feel bad for a lot of these small fireworks businesses because they are definitely taking a hit by absorbing some of those costs, while also selling less product. Unlike those oil companies who are making billions on profits with the increased prices. These small shops are hurting just like the rest of us.
But let's look at the upside here. We can get fireworks for the 4th of July, and we are still the land of the free, and the home of the brave. Happy 4th of July!
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