Getting Ahead of Holiday Shortages This Season

Christmas is just a few months away. Usually, retailers make the biggest sales during this period, accounting for up to 19% of their annual sales.

However, things will be a little different this holiday season, thanks to the post-pandemic effects. The world economy is coming from a standstill to a full sprint. There is a visible strain across all trading cycles, starting from manufacturing to supply chains. So, what should you expect? How do you prepare for the inevitable holiday season shortages? Here are expert insights into the 2021 holiday season shopping and supply trends.

Holiday Sales Are Projected to Grow at 7%

With many states having more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions than last year, it will be the first time for many since the pandemic that shoppers will be planning gatherings with friends and family and exchanging gifts. For this reason, most shoppers are eager to splurge on Christmas gifts, electronics, jewelry, and new clothes, increasing demand for gifts and other holiday essentials. Research experts such as Deloitte forecast a sharp spike in year-over-year purchases at a growth rate of 7%, compared to last year when shoppers spent only $800 billion. MasterCard SpendingPulse also projects holiday retail sales to rise by nearly 7.4%, spiked by a rebound in in-store purchases. The growing consumer demand also has a hand on this.

Constraints in the Supply Chains

Thanks to disruptions in the supply chain, big fashion brands such as H&M and Boohoo are staring down at reduced profits this holiday season. Supply constrictions started way back in March 2021, when the country recorded the highest number of imports, post-pandemic.

The same issue extends to fulfillment facilities across the nation. Some can’t meet consumer orders due to missing products on shelves or congestion at ports and transportation routes. That means businesses that didn’t foresee this supply chain disruption will likely have their products stuck on boats or overseas warehouses, and shortages and shipping delays.

Be Prepared for Less Deep Discounts and Sales

Many of us love to shop at last the last minute, hoping for huge discounts and better prices. However, this won’t happen this time around. The holiday season shortages will take a toll on getting great discounted deals for many people. Consumers should be prepared for fewer deep discounts on peak shopping days such as Black Friday. And the global supply chain disruption could also result in higher prices at the check-out counter on a variety of products.

Shop Online Early to Mitigate Shipping Delays

There are delays in the manufacturing due to the pandemic and the delivery processes of many holiday goods such as toys, sneakers, and electronics. Consumers should anticipate their e-commerce orders to take longer than usual before getting fulfilled. Be sure to plan early to avoid delays in gifts and holiday necessities.

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