LOS ANGELES — Tucked away above a lighting store, up a narrow steep set of stairs, is a land of ghouls, masks, fake blood and pirate costumes: Adele’s of Hollywood, a costume store that’s been a Los Angeles landmark since 1945.

On a recent morning in the run-up to Halloween, customers looked for the perfect festive outfit streamed into the store — the large metal door banging open and shut every few minutes. The store is deceptively large, almost a magical trick of depth and perspective with hundreds of costumes for rent and purchase, all squeezed into a wraparound space with low ceilings and corners stacked with boxes labeled "extra wigs," "clown costumes” and "vampire accessories."

What You Need To Know

  • On Friday, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission voted to implement at "Container Excess Dwell Fee" at the Port of LA

  • Shipping companies will be charges $100 per day per container if their cargo is not picked up on time

  • There are currently 74 ships waiting to unload cargo outside the port of LA and Port of Long Beach

  • Small business owners are being impacted and have had to wait longer for some items to arrive, including Halloween costumes

Co-owner Nadya Saidy, whose family has owned the business since it first opened, was answering nonstop calls: “Hello, Adele’s of Hollywood, yes we still have lots of costumes, last minute is our specialty!”

The massive rush was a relief for Saidy, last year the pandemic quashed many Halloween plans and the store lost 80% of its typical revenue. This year, Saidy explained, the numbers have thankfully improved.

“It’s the first time since the pandemic that anyone can really cut lose and have fun together, now that we have the vaccine,” she said.

But Saidy and other retailers are now facing a new issue that is in part due to the pandemic’s ongoing impact: supply chain shortages.

The Port of LA and Port of Long Beach are overcrowded, and 74 ships are waiting to unload cargo. Much of the cargo that has already been taken off the ships, hasn’t been moved and subsequently some accessories and costume pieces haven’t arrived on time. In other cases, items that would normally take a few days to be delivered won’t be delivered until after Halloween.

“Some of the things that we are running really low of, like fairy wings, we didn’t expect such a high demand for, so we didn’t stock enough of them, and they wouldn’t get here in time,” Saidy said.

Their business hasn’t been substantially impacted, though, because Saidy orders costumes over the summer. However, as she noted, the overall delays and issues with supply chains has led to a slight increase in prices.

"It’s not by huge margins, but people are struggling right now. So for them, it is a huge margin."

Looking ahead to the holidays, in an effort to speed things along at the ports, the LA Harbor Commission on Friday voted to implement a “Container Excess Dwell Fee.” The fee will begin on Nov. 11 and last for 90 days. Shipping companies whose cargo lingers at the port and isn’t picked up on time will be charged $100 per container, with fines increasing $100 per container per day. The new policy will last for 90 days with the hope that it will expedite movement of goods at the port.

Earlier this month, the Port of LA also began operating on a 24-hour schedule. President Biden announced the new hours. The new schedule is another way the Harbor Commission and the White House are working to reduce the number of ships and containers sitting at the Port.

The shipping problems affect businesses across the spectrum, from smaller family owned shops like Adele’s of Hollywood to Amazon. At Adele’s, shopper Danielle Goldsmith said she had been looking for the right costume and accessories online and in person.

"I did notice on Amazon, there was a lot less quantity and inventory of things that they could fulfil within one to two days," she said. "It was a lot of things that could arrive by Nov. 2."

After digging through the many costumes at Adele’s, Goldsmith found what she was looking for: a ‘Mad Hatter’ Alice in Wonderland-themed costume.

By 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, the line at Adele’s was stretching through the store, and despite the many challenges over the past two years, Saidy was grateful.

“We are very happy to still be here. We are a family owned business…We’re happy things are looking up for this year. We hope they continue this way.”