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Labor Shortage, Supply-Chain Issues Threaten to Spoil Holiday Shopping Season for Small Retailers

Shoppers browsing Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. (Wayne Bronner)

With a 120,000-square-foot store dedicated to everything Christmas, and catalog orders coming from around the globe, it takes a lot of manpower to operate Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland.

In a typical year, Bronner’s would have upward of 750 employees working at “the world’s largest Christmas store,” based in the small Michigan town of Frankenmuth.

This year, amid the tightest labor market in decades, they’ve struggled to get their headcount up to about 560, said Wayne Bronner, the president and chief executive of the store.

Bronner has increased pay, and he’s offering his workers unlimited overtime and bonus pay for Saturday night and Sunday shifts.

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Ryan Mills is an enterprise and media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.

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