BURLESON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Fireworks retailers lit the fuse in North Texas Wednesday on what the industry is predicting could be a record-breaking sales year.
The 10-day sales season ahead of July 4 opened as professional community shows are being canceled to avoid large crowds and concern over COVID-19. Combined with the holiday falling on a Saturday and no drought to restrict sales or use, private sales are expected to have a banner year.
The American Pyrotechnic Association predicted an all-time high in sales and use of consumer fireworks this season.
Across the county, fireworks have already been seen almost nightly in the skies over New York, Denver and San Francisco.
Rex Nelson, who runs family-owned stores across North Texas, said he’s been receiving calls from potential customers for two months.
“This, theoretically should be insane,” he said, while working at his store in Fate. “Everything is lined up, the stars are aligned correctly this year.”
Nelson said he was expecting to sell out of $200 firing systems used for small private shows.
While he had a fully stocked store Wednesday, he said it had been more difficult this year to get fireworks orders from China due to COVID-19.
In Burleson Wednesday, where Fireworks Supermarkets opened a brand new indoor store, customers were inside buying within the first hour.
Manager Jason Weaver said he was expecting customers this season who normally attend community displays.
“I think we’re going to see a lot of new people, putting on shows for their families, or small groups in the neighborhood,” he said.
Last year the APA predicted that consumer sales revenue from fireworks would top $1 billion for the first time.
The retail sales forecast this year is the opposite of what the commercial display side of the industry is facing, where the APA said companies could lose up to 80% of their income due to cancellations and COVID-19.