COVID-19 helps spark booming sales in consumer fireworks
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With so many major fireworks displays canceled plenty of people are now looking to make their own fireworks shows at home.
“Business started early, and it has doubled from what it was in the past,” said Kevin Carpenter, owner of Fireworks Masters.
In fact, business at his fireworks stand is booming so much, Carpenter opened a week earlier than usual.
He owes some of the strength of his sales to the current pandemic.
“I think that the canceling of the fireworks displays has raised consumer fireworks sales,” Carpenter said. “I also think people are just pent up and ready to do something and get out and fireworks are going to give them that kind of emotional charge they are looking for.”
Every year there is a popular firecracker or new artillery shell, but this year the trend is not so much about lighting up a product, but rather sparking a new experience.
Carpenter says he has had more groups of people wanting to put on displays for their neighborhoods.
“I have seen people getting together in groups and coming in and buying in bulk,” Carpenter said. “I have doubled the number of large orders and those orders are a little bit larger than they were in the past.”
But the sailing has been far from smooth.
At one point, it was supply, not demand, that was the biggest concern.
“China had a problem starting back in July of last year with a number of different things where they shut down to reorganize how things were coming out of the port, and then they reopened only to close again and then they were going to reopen before the coronavirus hit and they had to close again,” Carpenter said. “So, all of the new products are just now arriving in the United States.”
He says there were issue on the American side of supply as well that had a lot of people in the industry concerned that there might be a shortage this year. Luckily, the issues in both countries were resolved and the panic averted.
If you are planning on lighting fireworks this Independence Day, make sure you know where to go. Fireworks are illegal in the city limits of Charleston but in Charleston County and in Mount Pleasant they are legal to light.
In North Charleston fireworks are allowed 9 a.m. - 11:30 p.m., and until 1 a.m. on Independence Day and in James Island you can light your fireworks from 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
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