SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Starting Monday, South Dakotans can begin purchasing Fourth of July fireworks at stands across the state. Out-of-state customers have been able to buy fireworks since the start of May. And they don’t seem to be scared away by the higher cost of fireworks brought about by inflation and supply chain backlogs.
Customers can expect a star-spangled sales pitch when they shop inside Hot Shot Fireworks in northwest Sioux Falls.
“This one right here shoots a little bit of an angle, but it’s all red, white and blue, very patriotic,” Hot Shot Fireworks owner Shelly Raderschadt said.
Stocking up on fireworks in South Dakota turned out to be an impulse buy for Minnesotan Jeff Heil.
“This is my first year in South Dakota and was driving by and I saw it and said ‘hey, this looks like a good place,’” Heil said.
Deciding on a specific product comes with browsing the aisles.
“Something that’s going to be fun for the neighbors and my kids, something that’s going to go up high in the air, nice and pretty and big and loud bangs. That’s what everyone likes for the Fourth of July, right,” Heil said.
But customers might be reluctant to shell out loads of money during a summer of high inflation.
“I’m trying to be mindful not to go overboard. My 15-year-old boy says I get too much. My 11-year-old daughter says I don’t get enough, so I gotta figure out what the medium is,” Heil said.
Rising shipping costs are making fireworks more expensive this year.
“And I’ve noticed usually you get the buy-one-get-one-half-off. Right now, they’re just not like that,” Heil said.
Hot Shot Fireworks says it’s able to contain prices for smaller family packs. But customers will be paying more for larger fireworks since it costs more to ship them to South Dakota.
“Because they take more space on the container,” Raderschadt said.
Hot Shot Fireworks gets all its inventory from China.
“The Chinese are experts at making fireworks,” Raderschadt said.
So the fireworks supply chain has a lot of links along the way.
“It starts in China, they’re on a ship and they land in California. Then, they go by railway to Kansas City and then by semi up to Sioux Falls,” Raderschadt said.
Raderschadt says it can take a shipment of fireworks as long as two months to reach her store. Hot Shot Fireworks wants to make sure that inflation and supply chain issues don’t add a further strain to their supply, so for the first-time ever, they’ve ordered fireworks for two years in advance.
“Because you just don’t know how long shipping is going to take, so we have 2024 already ordered,” Raderschadt said.
Raderschadt says she was, at first, concerned that higher prices would hurt sales.
“It maybe did a little bit, but people understand that shipping went up for everything, so they’ve been understanding and almost expecting it,” Raderschadt said.
Raderschadt says the wet spring leading into summer is creating more suitable conditions for shooting off fireworks.
“Everything is green and I think people feel in a better mood and they like to shoot when everything’s green and wet,” Raderschadt said.
Heil ended up spending more than $350 on fireworks.
“$361.90,” Raderschadt said.
“I’m willing to pay more. Yeah, it’s once a year,” Heil said.
Heil heads home to Minnesota well-stocked with fireworks ahead of the crowds of South Dakotans who will soon purchase their own.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to be back here for the Fourth, so I’m like I better get them now,” Heil said.
The Fireworkz Store will be opening up seven stands in the Sioux Falls area Monday. The owner says he ordered extra fireworks last year to ensure he’ll have plenty to sell this year. He says some stands around the country last summer didn’t get their shipments until after the Fourth due to supply chain problems.