The biggest story of 2021 may very well end up being the supply chain issues facing the US as we head into the holidays and the surge of retail that comes with it. With uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, labor shortages and the delayed effects of lockdowns disrupting overseas shipments, Americans may not have the luxury of excess for the 2021 holiday season.
What does this mean for consumers? Well, it means for sure that you do not want to put off your holiday shopping much longer among many other things. With a little bit of planning and creativity, there’s no reason the 2021 holidays won’t be as enjoyable as years past.
Local stores are most likely to carry inventory from local vendors whose products are made in the United States. Big box stores import many of their products from overseas, meaning there will be no guarantees that your favorite giant retailer will be carrying the items you’re looking for.
Don’t Bank on Black Friday
Busting down the doors on the biggest shopping day of the year is going to lead to disappointment. Once Thanksgiving hits, retail experts recommend already having your gifts purchased or ordered. Don’t ignore Black Friday altogether, just know that there are no guarantees, especially this year. You can’t beat the prices retailers offer those days. Instead, spread your shopping out over the days and weeks around Black Friday and give yourself some wiggle room.
The Problem Items
Got a kid begging you for a PS5 or XBox X Series? Dad wants a new TV? Godspeed. Electronics and toys are in short supply this year. These items sell out within minutes of being restocked. Check places like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to see if those items are being resold. Be prepared to pay markup, though.
Stores have already begun limiting purchases on turkeys, hams and ducks for the holiday season. With these items already being sold at premium prices, it may be wise to break up your holiday grocery shopping over multiple trips to the store. As the holidays get closer, your local grocery store may not have what you’re looking for. Better yet, see if there is a local farmer who sells produce and/or meat within a quick drive and throw your very own farm-to-table holiday party.
Be Realistic and Don’t Delay
The supply chain shortages aren’t stopping any time soon. Experts are predicting for this to last well into 2022. Be prepared, have a plan and expect to see empty shelves beyond just the holidays.