Shop Early and Get Creative this Season
November 4, 2021:
Halloween is now behind us, and while we are sad to see it go (it is one of our favorite holidays at the Centerpoint), we are looking forward to the bright lights and togetherness of the next season. You may have already made a holiday shopping list for your family, friends, and co-workers. If that’s the case, there may be some bad news: You may need to check it twice to make sure items will arrive in time (or at all).
With a global supply chain crunch continuing, ordering holiday gifts may be harder this year than in pre-pandemic years past. But before we get into what may happen, let’s start with what got us here in the first place.
To understand supply chain issues, we have to first understand what it takes for an item to travel from a manufacturer to warehouses or retail stores:
- People: From product production to the end destination, people power the process. The current labor supply shortage is a factor in the supply chain crunch.
- Ports: It’s challenging for retailers to get products onto store shelves, with ports facing unprecedented congestion and delays. In fact, larger retailers like Home Depot, Costco, and Walmart are using their own private charters to get around port delays.
- Ground Transportation: Here, we are seeing a combination of higher fuel prices and a truck driver shortage causing an increase to the pricing of shipping.
- Material Prices: Raw material prices have increased across the board–from high cotton prices affecting apparel to higher natural gas prices.
It is worth noting that holiday sales are actually forecasted to grow in 2021. How much of the potential sales increase will be attributable to higher costs per item versus organic growth is yet to be determined.
With that said, it’s likely that the hottest items of the 2021 holiday season will be in short supply and cost more than expected. It doesn’t appear there’s much we can do about it, except shop early and expect to pay more, or get creative in your gift giving. Some of our families are choosing to incorporate homemade items, plan group trips or dinners, or host charity swaps in lieu of traditional gifts. After a tough two years, maybe the best gift is cherishing this time with family and friends.