For most of your life, Thanksgiving (and subsequently Christmas) has probably involved family bonding opportunities and hassle-free trips to the grocery store and mall. However, because of the pandemic and its effects on retailers worldwide, the holiday season might look a little different this year.
Because of supply chain issues, fluctuating prices on common goods, and increased consumer demand, shortages are coming into play for the holidays. Consumers can expect a “shopocalypse” as COVID-related shipping issues slow down the movement of goods from manufacturers to the shelves of retail stores.
International brands aren’t exempt from the effects of COVID, either. For example, the sales of H&M slowed down in September because of delivery delays. Nike, known for creating innovative products for athletes, also lowered its sales forecast for Thanksgiving after closing 80% of its factories in Vietnam. Bed Bath and Beyond’s revenue also fell 26% due to shipping issues.
Aside from the disruptions in the supply chain, the holiday season is also shorter this year, which means that retailers have less time to sell. Because of this, most stores will be more incentivized to create deals as early as the first week of November to beat the competition. In short, you can still get Black Friday-worthy deals early in November, so you don’t need to wait and risk running out of your favorite products.
With all of the changes happening in the supply chain, it’s vital for you to start shopping early to get ahead of the uncertainties of retail store closures and potential shipping issues.
3 Top Holiday Shopping Tips
Even though there have been a lot of changes in the retail industry, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy shopping for the holidays this year. Below are some of our best holiday shopping tips so you can still make the most out of the season!
1. Start Early
Unlike previous years, don’t wait for any major discounts from your favorite retailer before you start shopping. If you’re planning to get someone a new iPhone, buy one as soon as possible before the item goes out of stock.
2. Be Realistic
Some retailers are whittling down their products to ensure that they can keep certain items in stock. When buying products for the holiday, don’t fixate on a specific color or style. Be realistic and consider other styles of the same product.
For example, if you want to update your closet by buying a Thanksgiving sweater, be flexible with the color or design as the one you want might not be available.
3. Shop From Local and Domestic Stores
When shopping for gifts, buy from local and domestic stores. Aside from having the opportunity to check out the items in person, shopping from local and domestic stores (rather than buying items online) is also the best way to make sure that your loved ones receive their presents on time.
Start Shopping Now
As you shop for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, don’t forget that 2021 has taken a toll on everyone — from small business owners to customer service associates. Help businesses recover from the pandemic by shopping early and buying items that you only need.