Supply chain issues lead to shirt supply shortage affecting region’s business

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – A lot of people might be trying to get a football playoff t-shirt or an upcoming turkey trot, but like a lot of other things, problems with supply chain make it more difficult to receive goods in a timely fashion.

Central Texas t-shirt suppliers are feeling the pinch, as suppliers cannot get t-shirts fast enough.

Supply chain issues are the latest setback for small businesses that barely survived the pandemic.

The owners of Powerprint Tees in Killeen have been in business for 25 years and have said they’ve never experienced anything like it before.

“I have eight, 10 suppliers and I can’t find enough to place an order for anyone,” said Anne-Marie Bruner, co-owner of Powerprint Tees.

It’s a problem she noticed earlier this summer, just as business was picking up. Its suppliers now say the problem may not be resolved until mid-2022.

“Now we’re tackling the production and the ability to get the product,” Bruner said. “T-shirts are almost impossible to find. “

Now it’s a struggle to get the most basic colors.

It used to take less than an hour to get an order for customers, now it takes three to four.

“These five shirts are from Nevada. The other 10 of the same size are from California, ”Bruner said. “What we could do in 10 days now takes three weeks. “

It’s not just a problem for her.

“Usually you would just call the company and say, I’d like 200 t-shirts,” said Cassie Fothergill, president of the booster group at Belton. “Now, is it more black?” Should we choose red? “

Fothergill said it’s not impossible to get orders for the group booster. But it took a lot more work this year.

“We’re all learning that we can’t just assume the article will be there,” Fothergill said. “Whether it’s t-shirts or appliances for our homes or any of those things.”

Now they’re prioritizing preorders, hoping those can be fulfilled for months to come.

“I guess we realize that spirits shirts and clothing aren’t essential, they’re kind of a luxury,” Fothergill said. “But I’ll tell you it’s a big fundraiser for us. “

For others, however, getting these t-shirts is a way of life.

“My dad used to say, ‘How do you eat a giant bear?’ One bite at a time, ”Bruner said. “So you don’t look at the big picture, you just take small pieces. “

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Elizabeth J. Harless