Outdoor retailers, in the midst of a perfect storm, find themselves scrambling to soften the angry cries coming from disappointed customers.
Outdoor retailers are battling, fighting and outbidding one another, along with the high rolling box stores of Costco, Home Depot and Wal-Mart, for cargo shipping space. A battle between David and Goliath and it looks like Goliath has the upper hand in this one.
It all began when the economy turned sour and retailers, expecting the worse, beginning slashing their inventory and cutting back on placing orders. As a result, oversea factories had fewer products to manufacture, which decreased the need for ships to transport these items. Diminished demand lead to factory cutbacks, shipping companies reduced their fleet or removed their ships from service. Even the cargo container manufactures stopped producing.
Now, speed up to the current situation.
Retailers are screaming to have their tents manufactured, factories are screaming for more material and more workers, shippers are screaming for more containers and ships for transportation, and customers are yelling for their tents! Everybody is yelling at everybody and the guy digging, cutting, and drilling for the material can only cut and dig so fast.
Nowhere does this storm appear more severe than from those now wanting or those attempting to produce 6 and 8 man tents. Ironically, it was a natural disaster, the Haiti earthquake, that essentially collapsed the remaining limited inventory of those larger size tents. In an effort to help relieve some of the deplorable conditions occurring in Haiti, thousands and thousands of tents were shipped there.
So now we all find ourselves in a whirlpool vortex spinning around waiting and wanting our tents. But wait we now must, the manufacturer, the retailer, the customer too, for just a little bit longer for the chain of production to catch that next wave over.