Provide chain issues could also be hitting your pockets in quite a lot of methods, however the excessive value of merchandise has compelled the homeowners of a mom-and-pop enterprise to halt their dream, and shut the doorways of their new retailer.

Stepping right into a toy retailer evokes marvel and creativeness.

“This is huge, I can’t believe this is actually real!” Levi Lombardi, an 8-year-old shopper, stated whereas marveling at a toy.

It offers the sense that something is feasible, which is why JoJo’s Toys and Extra is one in every of Lombardi’s favourite stops.

“This new store is one of the best toy stores,” he stated.

The small retailer in Newington evokes those self same feelings for its proprietor, Eliah Lefferts.

 “Our vision was to bring joy to the community, to bring the magical element that’s missing in a big box store,” he stated. “To give people the hands-on family experience. We wanted to know everybody’s names.”

Lefferts made that dream come true, transferring his household from southern California again to the state the place he grew up: Connecticut. They opened the shop in Could, and Lefferts named it after his 5-year-old son, JoJo.

“The best kid in the universe!” he stated.  “He’s a really sweet kid. He’s a good guy. And he has autism, so we’ve been very well supported in the community.”

The toy retailer shortly turned beloved.

“This was our home, and everyone was invited,” Lefferts stated.

But simply 5 months later, an open signal is lacking now from the entrance door.

Issues began to get powerful when Lefferts was nonetheless ready for toys he had ordered in April months later.

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“To this day I have product that I ordered in June that is still not here,” he stated.

Finally, the massive provide chain points turned an excessive amount of for the small, family-owned enterprise. When the price of shopping for merchandise went up, the homeowners needed to spend thrice as a lot as is typical to buy the toys on the cabinets.

“It was costing us $3.74 for one of these pop toys before,” Lefferts stated. “The last order we got, this pop toy, $12.99. My cost. $12.99. In order to keep the lights on and maybe have a little food in my pocket, I have to sell it for 26 bucks! And I told my wife, ‘we just can’t, don’t even put them out.’”

Final week, they made the powerful determination to shut for good.

“It is very challenging. We’re having sleepless nights. It’s a lot,” Lefferts stated.

The availability chain, now chaining the household to debt.

“Everything we had went into this place and, and more,” Lefferts stated.

It’s also leaving a spot locally as folks begin to study the endearing store is closing its doorways.

“I’m going to kind of be sad,” Lombardi stated, after studying concerning the closure throughout an impromptu go to Wednesday.

Lefferts and his spouse Priscilla are actually in search of jobs, and hope to perhaps someday pursue their dream anew. For now, the largest gap could be in his coronary heart, the place the dad had left an area for hope that his store would possibly someday belong to his son.

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“We just wanted to have something for him, to leave for him. And, you know, he’s just a kid,” Lefferts stated. “There is no escaping the supply chain, the costs, you know, that’s what it is now. But for him, we wanted to give this to him in the long run. And look, that’s a lofty goal thinking we could be around that long. But why not?”

Regardless that their retailer is closing, the household plans to proceed residing in Newington.

JoJo’s Toys and Extra might be open one final time on Saturday, October 23. The shop on Fenn Highway in Newington might be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There might be reductions, an look from a well-known cartoon villain, a remaining celebration, and gross sales till the toys are gone.

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