4th of July fireworks prices rise amid inflation and rising delivery costs
If you’re planning to buy fireworks for July 4, prepare for a sticker shock of 25-30%, a fireworks CEO told Axios.
Driving the news: There has been “unprecedented demand” for backyard fireworks since 2020, when many cities and towns first canceled professional shows because of COVID, said Julie Heckman, executive director. of the American Pyrotechnics Association.
By the numbers: A key gauge of inflation accelerated 8.6% from a year earlier in May, the fastest pace in 40 years, writes Courtenay Brown of Axios.
- Since 2019, the fireworks industry has seen shipping costs go from $8,000 to $10,000 per shipping container to around $45,000 per container, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.
State of play: Despite shipping delays and rising costs, there is more inventory this year than in the past two years, Bruce Zoldan, CEO of Ohio-based Phantom Fireworks, told Axios.
- Phantom, the nation’s largest consumer-based retail fireworks company, which supplies thousands of retailers nationwide, has sold fireworks for the past two years due to “shortages extremes,” Zoldan said.
- Some professional fireworks displays, including two Independence Day shows near Washington DC, have been postponed due to a shortage of licensed pyrotechnic personnel.
What they say : Zoldan said rising prices and inflation could impact sales.
- “We have no idea how they will react based on all the other necessities that they have to deal with like gasoline, food and everything that has increased enormously,” he said.
- “Even in recession years, people buy fireworks, and we don’t see as much negative buying as maybe other businesses because people want to come together,” Zoldan said.
- Heckman thinks most families have a budget for 4th of July celebrations and that this year “people are likely to get a little less bang for their buck.”
And after: While some buyers started buying their fireworks in May, Zoldan said the average buyer has yet to show up. Father’s Day weekend usually kicks off the busiest fireworks shopping season, he added.
- Phantom will have over 1,500 seasonal booths in the week leading up to the holidays.
- Since fireworks sold out across the country last year, Heckman advises consumers to shop early to find the biggest selection.