2021 Fireworks Season Recap

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October 18, 2021
2021 Fireworks Season Recap

 

Welcome to Get Loud with Black Cat Fireworks with your hosts Chris Noland and Dave “Gooch” Guccione.

Chris Noland:
Welcome to another episode of Get Loud with Black Cat Fireworks. I’m Chris Noland, along with Dave “Gooch” Guccione.

Dave Guccione:
Good afternoon, Chris. How are you doing?

Chris Noland:
Doing good. And you?

Dave Guccione:
I’m doing good. Doing good. Try and stay out of trouble today. It’s all good.

Chris Noland:
Should we address the Gooch Pyro?

Dave Guccione:
Yeah, go to my Instagram or Facebook page and you guys can look it up and find out what the deal is with Gooch Pyro.

Chris Noland:
Funny stuff. You should probably look up your nicknames or what people call you and look them up on Urban Dictionary. It’s interesting stuff.

Dave Guccione:
Absolutely. Something to do at 6:30 this morning. We’re all good, man. We’re all good.

Chris Noland:
Cool, man. I think it’s long overdue but I think we need to talk about kind of a recap of the 2021 firework season, July 4th season.

Dave Guccione:
It was very interesting, to say it wasn’t a high wire act would be an understatement. I think that in the end it worked out well for retailers. I think for consumers, it worked out well, too. I think there was enough product on the street for everybody to get pretty much most of what they were looking for. But I think there were definitely some shortages and I know that a lot of retail stores didn’t even make it through the 4th of July because they just didn’t have enough fireworks.

Chris Noland:
Yeah. Were shutting down early on the third or even early on the fourth. Crazy.

Dave Guccione:
Yeah. There were a lot of sellouts. I was getting a lot of texts from people on Saturday night, which would’ve been July 3rd saying, “I have nothing more to sell tomorrow,” July 4th. By that point, there’s nothing that as a wholesaler we could really do at that point. I said, “Well Hey, congratulations. You get to have a 4th of July barbecue for the first time in probably 25 years.”

Chris Noland:
Long time. At least from a Winco perspective and your customer base, what were those holes? Or what were selling out kind of?

Dave Guccione:
There was a shortage of Roman candles, I think at a certain period of time. A lot of novelties, there were no novelties. I think they were short. Just in general novelties, small handmade items. Some Roman candles were definitely short. I know that Torpedo Snaps were or hard to get a hold of. Reloadables primarily. I think that was the big thing that people went into stores and they’re looking for a reloadable item and just couldn’t find it, especially ball shells.

Chris Noland:
Ball shells for sure. Canister shells went early too. I think a lot of, at least on the retail and the shortened season type stores where they go away, they’re open for nine or 10 days. Canister shells went quick.

Dave Guccione:
And I think that the consumer out there heeded the warnings of firework shortages, there was a lot of publicity on the internet, obviously, but even on local newscasts, there were a lot of stories about the big firework shortage this year. And I think that pushed people into retail stores early this year. Earlier than what we, as an industry, we’re always trying to get people to shop early. This year, they shopped early.

Chris Noland:
Well, I think a that was due in large part to our podcast. The millions of millions people that are listening.

Dave Guccione:
Right. Exactly. All 19 of them.

Chris Noland:
Heeded the warnings and went early.

Dave Guccione:
Right, Right.

Chris Noland:
You bet you.

Dave Guccione:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Chris Noland:
Some of the Black Cat items, top sellers this year, I think if you had it it sold, but as far as some Black Cat, I think canister shells really, Patriot and Diablo, Neon Diablo.

Dave Guccione:
If you could find any of the ball shell kits, they did real well too. I kind of have a list. Obviously, the Neon Diablo 24 shot, it was pretty hard to find if you could find it. It did very, very well. Of course, the Diablo, the Patriot, the five inch, all did exceptionally well. I have a list here. For fountains, sort of notables for me where a Neighbor Hater did really, really well. Neon Dragon was one of those that was in short, short supply. And I didn’t see very many of those. On shells to start with and there was obviously nothing left after the fourth. Of course, Bug Zapper, Black Cat Bug Zapper.

Chris Noland:
Good fountain.

Dave Guccione:
Great fountain. 200 grams, there’s a sleeper out there that a lot of people need to pay attention. The next time you’re at a Black Hat dealer, go and ask for it. It’s called the 10 shot Willow, it’s 200 grams. Just a totally underrated 200 gram. And that did real well. Thunder Mania, the two pack sold.

Chris Noland:
That’s by far, one of my favorites.

Dave Guccione:
It’s stout. It was gone. And then Jet, little nine shot Jet.

Chris Noland:
Powerful little cake.

Dave Guccione:
Absolutely. And then of course on the 500 grams, the Black Cat Combo, the four assorted, just huge. Gunfighters From Hell, just huge, right?

Chris Noland:
Yeah. It’s killer. It’s great artwork. Great label. Great shooter, 49 shot.

Dave Guccione:
If you you could have found this cake, some of the dealers had it and it was gone immediately. Caribbean Palms, branded, which was a new item. It was gone and it did really, really well and Fat Cat, I think that’s a favorite. And then for Roman candles, I think Tactical Cannon was popular this year.

Chris Noland:
It’s awesome. That’s a really good one. I think it’ll be interesting to see now that a lot of these places sold out, a lot of suppliers are trying to get their inventories back up. What do you think New Year’s looks like?

Dave Guccione:
Well, we’re dealing with pretty extensive inflation on pricing and it’s all being driven because of freight. There is a freight crisis in this country. I think it’s now being pretty widely publicized. Fireworks industry has been in this crunch for over a year with the escalating freight costs. It’s really starting to rear its ugly head now. Some of the freight quotes over the summertime are shocking what it costs to get a container to the United States. Just to get it here in a Tommy manacris, you know it’s stupid. It’s crazy. But we sent out a fall wholesale list. Once again, we’re talking about wholesale dealers here. Really quickly for retail consumers out there, but my customers heads were spinning off their bodies with the pricing.

Chris Noland:
It’s just crazy.

Dave Guccione:
And when 50% of the cost of the item is shipping, there is something really broken with the system. With the system. And unfortunately, this is not something that’s exclusive to Black Cat. This is a fireworks wide, industry wide issue. And not just fireworks, it’s general goods. If you go to the supermarket, Chris we were talking the other day, you were at Costco and they were out of goods.

Chris Noland:
Limiting goods, things like that. It’s crazy time.

Dave Guccione:
Rationing toilet paper because the vendor can only get 60% of what they need. And so this is a USA problem. This is a, I think it’s really actually a worldwide problem. And unfortunately, going into New Year’s, it’s going to be there. There’s going to be some definite sticker shock at the retail outlets that are going to be open for New Year’s. Bear with it. It’s fireworks everybody, once again. But this is the current situation we’re currently in.

Chris Noland:
Yeah. I think for July 4th of 2022, I think we just got to wait and see. See where things hit. It’s just a challenge for sure.

Dave Guccione:
I’m always optimistic. And I think that the supply chain challenges, because once again, fireworks are all only just a sliver of all the goods that come through the US ports. But I think it will get righted at some point. I just don’t know if that’s going to be before July 4th, 2022. If you look at trade publications, they’re talking about 2023 and I just don’t want to go that far out there right now. But as far as fireworks are concerned, there’s going to be challenges in our industry for the foreseeable future basically.

Chris Noland:
Right. And I think we just got to, at least for the consumer, I think getting out and shopping early, obviously as with anything is going to get you a better shot of getting what you want.

Dave Guccione:
I couldn’t recommend that more. I know for a lot of places like down in the South, in Texas, there is a limited period of time you could purchase fireworks. I would recommend highly if you’re in the South and you’re buying fireworks for New Year’s, shop early if you’re looking for a particular item you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve with because they’re in short supply out there right now.

Chris Noland:
Short supply and holes in certain categories, things like that.

Dave Guccione:
I would say if you’re looking for sparklers right now, it could be very, very challenging.

Chris Noland:
Yeah. We get a lot of contact requests, everybody requesting for some sparklers and obviously there’s none to be had.

Dave Guccione:
When other wholesale distributors are calling you, “Hey Gooch, hey. Hey, you wouldn’t happen to have any 20 inch sparklers here?” And I usually respond on the phone saying, “Yeah, the same wedding people are calling you that we’re calling me before they called you.”

Chris Noland:
It’s scary, man.

Dave Guccione:
Yeah. If you’re having a wedding right now and this is actually legit here, I would definitely secure your sparklers as soon as you possibly can because there is an industry shortage right now.

Chris Noland:
For sure. Well, cool man. 70th year anniversary for Black Cat next year.

Dave Guccione:
Wow. Wow. And I think there’s some pretty big stuff brewing from what I understand.

Chris Noland:
There is. And we’ll be announcing that oh, in the next couple months or so.

Dave Guccione:
Awesome.

Chris Noland:
As we iron some things out. Again, a lot dependent upon supply and what we can get in.

Dave Guccione:
Yeah. I’m optimistic that there’s got to be 4th of July in 2022. There’s no doubt about that.

Chris Noland:
For sure.

Dave Guccione:
I feel that we’re going to hopefully have enough fireworks for everybody but just, until you see the physically sitting in your warehouse or sitting in your store and you see consumers buying fireworks, it’s always wait and see. But we should be good. We should be good. I got my fingers crossed.

Chris Noland:
Yes, I think so. But we’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming. We’ll probably make an announcement later on in the year, right before New Year’s.

Dave Guccione:
Cool.

Chris Noland:
And it’s a pretty big deal. It’s pretty cool. We’ll announce that. Just if you’re out there, follow us on social medias, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, check out our website. We’ll always be announcing stuff on there. Sign up for our newsletter.

Dave Guccione:
Black Cat Threads, right?

Chris Noland:
Black Cat Threads. You can get some gear.

Dave Guccione:
For the holidays. For the holidays.

Chris Noland:
We’re going to be adding some new apparel and some things over the next month or so.

Dave Guccione:
Cool. Cool, cool, cool. Sounds great.

Chris Noland:
Cool stuff, man.

Dave Guccione:
All right, man.

Chris Noland:
All right. Thanks, Gooch.

Dave Guccione:
All right. Take care, Chris. And we will talk to you again real soon. Get loud with Black Cat Fireworks.

Speaker 1:
Well, that wraps up another Get Loud with Black Cat Fireworks Podcast. On behalf of your hosts, Chris Noland and Dave “Gooch” Guccione, go out and light some fireworks. We will talk to you real soon.