Fireworks Buyers Adjust Habits

by Gabe Bullard on July 3, 2009

A southern Indiana fireworks retailer says factory closures, the national recession and other bad economic news have not hurt his bottom line.

About 26% of the Chinese factories that make fireworks for American consumption have closed. That’s driven prices up by about 18% at Phantom Fireworks in Clarksville. Last year, rising fuel costs led to a 15% price increase.

But while there was a sales slump last year, store manager Darren McKinley says business has been steady this year.

“Some of our large annual buyers may actually back off some,” he says. “But what we’re finding out is we’re getting new buyers in the door: people that may have otherwise gone to Florida or Disneyland, whatever.”

Explosives such as firecrackers and bottle rockets are legal in Indiana, but are prohibited for home use in Kentucky.

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