FORT MYERS, Fla — Fourth of July firework sales are booming for the second year in a row.
COVID-19 and cancelled celebrations during 2020 is what jumpstarted the increase. A local store manager said a new state law is also contributing to the ongoing rise.
Manager Denny Billec at Phantom Fireworks in Fort Myers said sales at his store were up almost 100% last year, from 2019. This year, they're up another 30%.
“DeSantis signed into law last April that fireworks is now legal three times a year in the state of Florida. Fourth of July, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. So with that, you brought out a lot of people who were afraid or maybe a little bit timid of saying ‘well fireworks really is not legal.’ Now they're legal. So that brought out a lot of people also,” said Billec.
The industry is also experiencing a shortage for the second year in a row. According to Billec, it has to do with a shipping backlog.
“Fireworks, now we fall in the season where everybody wants to get their stuff in, so now there's a backlog in China. So who wants to pay the most money to get their product to the United States,” he explained.
“I received a couple weeks ago, two pages of products, probably hundreds of products that are not even going to be here for the holiday. So a lot of good stuff I'm not even getting in,” he added.
Customers tell Fox 4 they've already made multiple trips to the store to make sure they get everything they want before it's gone.
Billec said customers will see a shortage at his store within the next two to three days.