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The issues with the global supply chain are commanding headlines on a daily basis, but retailers are still doing big business.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales spiked in August as consumer demand continued to outweigh the multitude of issues affecting businesses right now. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that August sales were up 15.1% over the same period last year while the NRF — which uses a different methodology — reports a 12% climb.

“The increase in August retail sales reflects the continued strength of the American consumer and the resilience of our nation’s retailers,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “In spite of the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic, concerns about the delta variant, and supply chain and workforce constraints, the retail industry continues to do what it does best — serve customers and support communities while keeping team members and associates safe and healthy. We maintain our confidence in the historic strength of consumers and fully expect a record year for retail sales and a strong holiday season for retailers.”

The toy industry continues to battle the same issues facing every consumer products industry right now, including uncertainty regarding product availability in the fourth quarter.

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Looking ahead into next year, the NRF has revealed plans for a new annual event that aims to address ongoing global supply chain issues.

The inaugural NRF Supply Chain 360 event will take place June 20-21, 2022 in Cleveland.  Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) President and CEO Hal Lawton will be the opening keynote speaker on Monday, June 20.

“Retailers have experienced significant supply chain disruptions and sustainability demands over the last 18 months,” Shay says. “As these issues continue to evolve, it will become increasingly critical that retailers of all sizes have access to a diverse and robust supply chain to operate successfully. We are convening industry experts to provide a holistic look at the modes and methods needed to build an expansive supply chain ecosystem that will remain self-sustaining for decades.”

For more on the latest developments regarding the global supply chain and its impact on the toy industry, check out the October issue of the Toy Book, coming Oct. 5.