Why is it so hard to find your favourite shoes/gear?

Why is it so hard to find your favourite shoes/gear?
We've touched on there being delays on product shipments over the past year, but from speaking to customers on a daily basis in the store, we realized that unless you're in the retail industry, many of us don't really understand exactly what's happening and how it affects us personally.

The simple answer is that there has been a number of factors that when combined together have created the perfect storm. Factory shutdowns, raw material sourcing, closures of major ports/airports, etc. In a nutshell, everything is taking much longer than ever before, is much more expensive than previously, and there's a ton of uncertainty as to just how long something will take, either in the factory, in the shipping logistics, in the port being received, and then making it's way from the distributor to the retail stores.

Every brand has either a Canadian or a North American distributor, and in the past these companies would hold extra stock at warehouses that stores would be able to pull from throughout the year. This is stock on top of the booking orders that stores place 7-12 months ahead of time.

Is this making sense? Basically, 3 years ago, we received full spring stock by March 15th and if we sold out of something or a customer wanted a colour or style we didn't stock we could special order and receive it within a few weeks. Now, that's quite literally impossible. NONE of the brands have extra stock warehoused to sell, and they don't really know when they will either. Each brand has had to prioritize not only what's manufactured (many styles have been cut on the production floor that were ordered and expected by buyers), but also who is receiving the stock as it arrives, and how much extra costs they're able to absorb as a brand or they have to pass along to the customers.

So, how does this affect us at Capra specifically? We mentioned earlier how our spring shipments are normally in the door by March 15th right? Well, we've received about HALF of what we ordered. Orders that we placed last June/July, most are still trickling in, but some are flat out cancelled, and others we receive partial shipments. From one brand, we've received half of our women's order, but no men's...from another we received the bulk of our women's order but no size 8's. And yes, size 8 is the most common size!!

You can probably imagine how frustrating this is for us. We're small and nimble and have truthfully spent many days in the last year scrambling from brand to brand to find someone that has stock in an area where we're low. We feel like we've done the best we can, and when someone comes in the door that's open to new brands and styles we're always able to help them find a great fit.

But, the reality is (and we're not trying to scare you here!), that if you have a specific foot type or a style that you're accustomed to, certain brands and sku's just aren't arriving and may take another 3 or 6 or even 9 months to come in. We do have waitlists for all outstanding styles on order and we're happy to be in touch as soon as they walk through our door. Contact us to be added to a specific waitlist if you're not already.

If you have big races or adventures coming up, or your shoes are starting to feel worn down, or past their expiry date (most trail shoes last for around 500km, or 6-9 months for the average person), it may be time to come in and try on some new options. You may also want to purchase more than 1 pair of shoes and store them in your closet until they're needed to avoid disappointment. We really don't know when these supply chain challenges will fade, but we're likely going to see manufacturing and shipping delays into 2023. We hate having to disappoint our loyal customers, so let us help you get the gear you need early so you are set for the warmer months ahead.