VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Virginia Beach is an equipment lover's dream store.
While store manager Zach Roberts has done a good job of keeping it stocked during the pandemic, there is one section of the store -- and one item, in particular -- that has been especially popular lately: kayaks.
In fact, people are forking over thousands of dollars before even seeing them in person!
Recreational and outdoor equipment has been in demand for a while now with people looking to stay active and socially distant, but according to Roberts kayaks are caught up in the perfect retail storm.
“There’s been a whole host of problems," said Roberts.
There is not only more demand but less supply. The pandemic does play a role after manufacturers were forced to lay off workers, and some of Roberts' competitors even had to close down.
But the problem goes beyond the pandemic. The petroleum-based materials used to make most kayaks are still stretched thin because of that wild winter storm in Texas.
Great Outdoor Provision Co. usually keeps about 90 kayaks and canoes stocked, but now they're lucky to have a few. Most people are faced with a two to six-month wait.
“I’ve kind of joked about selling a dream of kayaks right now," said Roberts. "Eventually they’ll become reality when they’re shipped to us."