Toy Shortages and Supply Chain Among Reasons to Start Holiday Shopping Now, Experts Say | Business
(NEW YORK) – Every year, many of us talk about doing our holiday shopping early. But this year, you might want to start as early as possible.
That’s because experts are warning of possible shortages and delays on everything from toys to artificial Christmas trees due to COVID-related supply chain issues, as well as the record influx of cargoes reported. by the Marine Exchange of Southern California.
“It’s a problem from loading docks in China to retail loading docks in the United States,” Steve Pasierb, chairman and CEO of the Toy Association, told ABC News. “The biggest part being that shipping is extraordinarily expensive and takes a lot longer than it ever has.”
Retail analyst Hitha Herzog told ABC News that “the global supply chain is quite fractured.”
“We are seeing a shortage of products that were originally supposed to be shipped. And we are also seeing a delay in getting that product into stores,” she said.
Southern California ports, responsible for nearly half of all U.S. imports, have reached a record number of container ships awaiting unloading, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
Los Angeles ABC News station KABC shared a glimpse of footage of helicopters above the port of Long Beach where more than 100 ships are anchored off the coast, waiting to reach the docks.
The shipping problem was compounded by labor shortages at said docks as well as limited warehouse space and trucking issues.
“In the past, small retailers really relied on a very fast supply chain. What is different now is that the supply chain is limited and deliveries are also going to be limited, ”explained Herzog. “So while they certainly have the capacity to deliver the product, the product is going to be delayed.”
This has prompted some retailers to become proactive in ensuring their shelves are well stocked. Target shared in a blog that they chartered a container ship to make sure their cargo arrived on time.
“We will continue to partner with our suppliers to jointly tackle supply chain challenges this season and beyond to ensure we can deliver to our customers,” Target said in the post. Walmart and Home Depot have taken similar steps.
Despite the efforts of retailers, Pasierb recommends picking up stockings as soon as possible.
“Whatever becomes the hot toy of the season over the next couple of months may not be there in huge amounts,” Pasierb said. “It really is the holiday season now, from Labor Day to early October, it’s one of the best buys, the best pick.”
And while online sales are expected to increase this year, you may want to be prepared to shop in physical stores as well in order to find the best selection.
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