Holiday shopping 2021: slow shipping and shortages ahead
It’s August well, which means it’s time to start thinking… about holiday shopping?
Yes, you read that right. Strategists at investment bank Raymond James expect the supply chain issues currently plaguing retailers – like factory closures, overwhelmed ports and shipping shortages – to accelerate in the wake of the decade. second half of 2021, according to a recent report. Procrastinating your gift shopping can be even riskier than usual this year.
Many of the supply chain issues are linked to the slowdown in the manufacturing supply of COVID-19 in countries like Vietnam and Malaysia, but it could become more widespread as the year progresses, Money Tavis told Money. McCourt, institutional equity strategist at Raymond James.
“Once they have fully immunized their population, that shouldn’t be a problem anymore, but it’s very unlikely to happen before Christmas,” McCourt said. Plus, there are plenty of products for the holiday season (LOL Surprise Dolls, anyone?) Being made and shipped by the end of October, he adds.
While the more recent spread of the delta variant is impacting the movement of goods around the world, slow shipments and shortages are nothing new.
“Supply chain issues have been at the center of retailers’ concerns since the very beginning of the closures,” said Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insight at the National Retail Federation.
Retailers like Walmart and Amazon have been scrambling to secure space on shipping containers, the the Wall Street newspaper reported. They also still face the consequences of blocking a giant shipping container in Egypt’s Suez Canal for six days in March, including delays and a price hike, as Money previously reported. On top of all this, there is a global shortage of chips affecting manufacturing – and making it difficult to buy anything from Xbox consoles to smartphones.
In many cases, retailers are adjusting by bringing goods early or by air rather than by shipment, Cullen says. (Sending goods by air costs more, and retailers may have no choice but to pass that cost on to buyers, she adds.)
So what can you do to make sure you don’t miss out when it comes time to give to loved ones? Do not wait the last minute. It may take longer for the items to reach you, and you may have to search for them even more than usual, Cullen says.
You should also pay attention to what retailers are saying about what’s in stock and where items are available. Retailers will often include in online listings how much of something is in stock, or if the item is only available in a physical store, which can help you plan ahead to make sure you can put get hold of the gifts your family and friends want.
Remember, it may be more difficult to score some items this year than in the past. Starting now certainly won’t hurt.
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