7 tips for holiday shopping amid a global supply chain shortage
This holiday season, an increase in consumer demand has been met with a disruption in the global supply chain. High demand and low supply are forcing retailers across the country to scramble to stock their shelves ahead of the busiest shopping season of the year.
âIt’s no joke. There isn’t a single part of our business that hasn’t been affected by this supply chain disruption,â said Kelly Estep, co-owner of Carmichael’s Bookstore at Courier Journal. “An order that we could turn in two to three days before the pandemic now takes two to three weeks.”
It could prove to be a chaotic shopping season for those with specific hot items to buy on their gift lists and those who like to wait for the typical Thanksgiving through the December holiday shopping window.
‘It’s a mess.’:How Global Supply Chain Problems Will Impact Holiday Shopping In Louisville
Additionally, consumers should be prepared for fewer big discounts on branded shopping days like Black Friday. And the disruption of the global supply chain could also lead to higher checkout prices for a variety of products. Deloitte predicts consumer spending will rise 7-9% this holiday season.
There are several steps the savvy buyer can take that will help keep the Merry Christmas. The most important thing is to start your holiday shopping quickly.
âA lot of people have specific buying habits that are hard to break,â said Jack Mathis, co-owner of Work the Metal at Butchertown Market. âI have a brother who will only shop on Christmas Eve. It might be okay if you don’t have particular items that you plan to buy this year, but this chain problem sourcing means most buyers will have to start much earlier if they are to find specific gifts. ”
Here are seven tips to make the 2021 holiday shopping season go smoothly.
Buy ASAP for Holiday 2021 Giveaways
Mathis said shoppers should start early on their 2021 gift list and by “sooner” he means you might want to start shopping before Halloween. Also, don’t delay in buying something you see in the store. Due to the shortages caused by the disruption of the supply chain, many items will not be restocked until the holidays. So if you see the item you want, grab it.
Gift cards make a lot of sense in 2021
Gift cards to be more popular than ever in 2021 due to supply chain issuesand allow the recipient to shop after the holiday rush when hopefully more items are in stock.
Be flexible during the 2021 holiday shopping season
This is the year to add the word “flexibility” to your shopping program. If you’ve been obsessed with a desired item, you’ve basically put yourself in a corner. Instead, if you have multiple options, you’ve increased your chances of getting at least something on the list. This is something you might want to discuss with your kids before they write down their Santa wish lists.
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Let local sales staff help you find what you need
âOne of the perks of shopping at local stores is that the sales staff are there in person to help you find the perfect alternative,â said Estep. âIf you can’t find the exact book you were going to give Uncle Fred, the staff can make suggestions for something similar that they’ll like just as much. Remember, in the end, it’s the thought that account.”
Will you need a bigger budget for your vacation spending in 2021?
You need to consider your budget very carefully this holiday season. Consumer experts predict that most items will cost up to 10% more in 2021 due to pressure on the global supply chain.
Anticipate longer delivery times and higher costs at the post office
As you budget your finances, schedule extra time to get your vacation packages to their destination. Changes to the United States Postal Service began on October 1, and the new service standards are impacting First Class mail and periodicals. While USPS says that “most first class mail (61%) and periodicals (93%)” will not be affected, the changes will result in longer transit times for mail traveling long distances, particularly form an ocean to another. Courier traveling to the same region will still have a two-day delivery time.
This means that if you have Christmas cards to send across the country, send them in the mail ASAP.
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AndDue to anticipated increased demand for the holidays, shipping via USPS will be temporarily more expensive until December 26. This will apply to all domestic packages, but will not impact international products.
Remember, be nice to the sales staff
And finally this year – but also every year – if you have a particular gift item at heart but it is not available, don’t blame the store clerk.
âLocal retailers have struggled to adapt during this disruption in the supply chain,â said Estep. “It is not under the control of the people working behind the counter in your neighborhood stores. We are all doing our best in this unusual situation.”
Contact Kirby Adams at email@example.com or Twitter @kirbylouisville.