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Inflation hits fireworks stand, leaves customers with less bang for their buck

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-02 19:37:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For more than 20 years, The Dotte Fireworks stand has sat at the corner of 38th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

The owners have had decades of good business, despite some difficulties in recent years. It began in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and was followed by supply chain issues.

"Interestingly, we actually had a really good year last year, the sales," said owner Gail Vertz. "I think people were so excited, they were just starting to get back out again. But it was very difficult to get product last year because of COVID, and getting things from China to the U.S. was still very difficult."

This Fourth of July, it's not the variety of the fireworks that is the problem but the cost to get them here.

"The product comes from China, and then most of ours came into Los Angeles' airport, and then once these get off the water, they're put on a railroad to come to Kansas City," Vertz said.

Just like everything else, inflation is lighting up prices. Vertz told KSHB 41 her business has experienced anywhere from a 25-50% increase.

"I would say it is about a 35% increase in our cost," she said.

Despite the cost, shoppers are still making their way out.

One group of customers shared with KSHB 41 their budget for fireworks this year was anywhere from $100-500. While they said this figure is similar to what they have spent in the past, this time they won't get as much bang for their buck.

The Dotte Fireworks stand will be open through July 4 until the product sells out.