In the supply chain battle of 2021, small businesses are losing out to Walmart and Amazon

Toy shop owner Kim Mitchell placed her holiday orders months ago, but she has no idea what will make it to her store on time.

Anything from Mattel and Hasbro is largely off the table, as are Ravensburger puzzles. The Lego sets that used to arrive on a pallet are coming in dribs and drabs: “Five boxes one day, two the next,” she said. “It’s very unpredictable. I don’t know what I’m getting, or when.”

Small retailers and manufacturers, already crushed by large national brands during the pandemic, are being disproportionately walloped by delays, shortages and other supply chain disruptions ahead of the holidays. In many cases, they’re losing out to giants like Walmart and Amazon, which are spending millions to charter their own ships and planes to move merchandise.

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