It might not be the best idea to wait for Black Friday sales to start before you start your holiday shopping. Supply chain bottlenecks and shipping delays mean that the longer you wait to make your purchases, the more likely you are to run into limited inventories, longer shipping times and fewer discounts.
- Technology and electronics.
- Holiday items.
Technology and Electronics
Not even the tech giants are immune from global scarcity challenges. All sorts of tech products could be in short supply this holiday season, with some going out of stock much faster than in the past.
The pandemic has caused disruptions in manufacturing at the same time that demand for electronics in the home is increasing. Not to mention, there’s a microchip shortage that makes things even worse. As a result, businesses have struggled to keep up, and stores and e-commerce sites are receiving less inventory than expected.
Stock issues for game consoles have been persistent since the launch of the Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S last year. Nintendo also announced that it will make 20% fewer Switch consoles than planned for the fiscal year. Chip shortages have forced electronics companies to scale back production of consoles, but despite the decline, demand remains high. If you’re lucky enough to find one still available, don’t expect discounts.
Other holiday highlights you may want to shop ahead of time include popular smartphones like the latest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones. Apple is one of the world’s biggest chip buyers, but it will likely need to lower its projected 2021 iPhone 13 production targets by as much as 10 million units.
Retailers have also warned of a huge toy shortage this season. While you will certainly be able to find toys, finding the toy at the top of your child’s gift list at a reasonable price may be a different story.
Mattel, maker of popular brands including Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, announced during the company’s second-quarter earnings call that it will raise prices in the second half of the year before the holiday season to offset rising costs. production and shipping. Hasbro, whose brands include Playskool, Nerf, My Little Pony and Transformers, also announced possible plans to raise prices on toys and games in time for the holiday season.
While retailers have been preparing for much of the year, potential inventory shortages due to high demand for toys could outstrip supply capacity. MGA Entertainment, the maker of LOL Surprise, only has enough inventory to fill 65% of their backorders.
Toys that go out of stock quickly can also take much longer to be replaced with new inventory. So if you’re hoping to get your hands on this year’s hot toys, you’ll need to act fast.
In August, the American Booksellers Association reported that the book supply chain faces a number of challenges, including truck driver shortages and limited freight capacity, warehouse labor shortages, congested ports and the high costs of shipping containers. Publishers of all sizes report printing issues resulting in slower fulfillment times.
Holiday shoppers are encouraged to shop early if they hope to purchase specific titles.
Buy appliances this Christmas season? You may be out of luck. Experts say that if there’s a particular kitchen or laundry appliance you’ve been considering, you may not get it for several weeks or even months. Getting parts to manufacturers and machines to distributors and retailers has been a struggle.
If you urgently need an appliance, please contact an independent dealer first or consider substitutions. If you can wait, get on a waiting list or sign up to receive alerts when your favorite model is back in stock. Experts also say that while there may be some promotional sales on limited products during the holidays for major appliances, don’t expect the same discounts as in years past.
Due to pandemic-related factory closures in Vietnam, one of the largest suppliers of apparel and footwear in the US, more US retailers are anticipating delays and product shortages along with higher prices for labor and shipping costs. Shipping. Nike reported that its products are taking twice as long to reach North America. Lululemon and Gap also rely on factories in Vietnam, which recently allowed factories to open despite a limited workforce.
Cotton prices also hit a 10-year high, which could eventually be passed on to buyers. Cotton can be found in various products, including jeans, t-shirts, and underwear. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for men’s shirts and sweaters, men’s pants and shorts, and women’s dresses increased the most over the past year.
If you’re thinking of ordering a new sofa, rug, or upholstered bed, you may have to wait until the middle of next year to receive it. Furniture manufacturers and retailers are reporting a combination of COVID-related issues, increased furniture demand, poor weather conditions and upholstery foam shortages that are pushing shipments into next year.
Popular Christmas decorations, cards, food and more can be hard to come by and are likely to sell out well in advance. Big home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s quickly sold out of Halloween decorations, indicating that holiday decorations could be in even higher demand this year.
Global supply constraints have reduced the number of artificial Christmas trees available, and retailers may be forced to raise prices to offset shipping costs. Holiday lights, decorations, and wreaths may also be in short supply this year.
There have been warnings that some holiday staples, like fresh Thanksgiving turkeys and hams, may be harder to come by in grocery stores. While experts say it’s not necessarily a shortage, you may find it more difficult to find a fresh bird. Shoppers may also notice higher prices on turkeys due to soaring animal feed costs.
While starting your holiday shopping early doesn’t mean you’ll find everything you need at a discounted price, chances are you’ll have better luck than waiting to shop online or in stores until Black Friday sales.