Recently, the industry has been very creative in inventing reasons why outdoor products from China might not hit the shelves of the stores in the Western world on time. We all know about the problems that the supply chain is suffering, but it is always good to outline with intricate reasoning why retailers must continue to wait for the stuff. The last Ispo coincided with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt for roughly three decades.

We are not going to discuss why in the Western media the ?old pharaoh? turned in just a few days from ?our man in the Middle East? to a ?dictator? and an outright ?despot.? We are not raising this issue here, but we are surprised that all of the sudden the Egyptian political crisis has been welcomed by major players in the Asia-Europe supply chain to find new excuses for late deliveries.

One major buying group spread the rumor at the show that a possible closing of the Suez Canal might increase shipping times from the Far East to European ports from 30 days or so to nearly the double, as ships full of Asian merchandise would be forced to pass around Africa's Cape of Good Hope (for retailers: which hope?) to reach European ports. Buying groups and other vendors apparently have the hope that retailers in Europe believe this funny story and accept the delays. Exceptionally, we refer to the Old Testament of the Bible and an old American gospel saying: ?Pharaoh, let my orders go!?

the editor