Global Supply Chain Issues – Why you Should Start your Holiday Shopping Now!

Sarah Snow, Staff Writer

The pandemic has created countless problems for the economy, with the most recent being rising issues with the global supply chain. With a severe increase in demand for products and not enough supply to match it, shoppers everywhere have noticed limited stock in stores, both in-person and online. As a result, people are seriously worried about the effect this will have on their holiday shopping. 

With the worsening retail climate, experts have projected a continued spike in prices, as well as a continued depletion in supply for the holiday season. Those that gravitate toward the online option are especially concerned, as coupled with supply and demand issues, there is also a lack of truck drivers and warehouse workers worldwide.

 Ashleigh Rowan, mother of two in Brockton, MA, expressed, “I just feel like I won’t be able to check all the items off of my kids’ wish list this year which makes me sad.” Rowan’s feelings are valid and representative of the sentiments of many, but there is no need to worry! To avoid being adversely affected by these issues with the economy, or adding more anxiety to the holiday shopping process, one simply has to follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Start holiday shopping earlier
  2. Consider doing more in-person shopping
  3. Make one’s holiday budget more flexible

In general, most people don’t begin their holiday shopping until mid-December.  SHS Senior Molly Thompson says, “To be honest, all my holiday shopping doesn’t usually begin until December.” In previous years, choosing to hold off until then would’ve been fine, but this year, people must reconsider. In order to ensure lower prices, guaranteed delivery dates, and ample stock, all shoppers should start their holiday shopping as early as possible.

Grandmother to an SHS Student and avid online shopper, Edythe Russo, asks, “How early is too early?” 

The easy answer is that there’s no such thing; shoppers should start as early as possible. Online stores are aware of the global supply chain issues, and as a result, most have already released special holiday prices and added a “Gifts” tab to their websites to push people to place orders earlier. 

Thompson has it right, as she shares,“I’ve actually already placed some orders. If I find a good present for someone, then I want to make sure I can get it.” Shoppers should follow in her footsteps this holiday season!

Next, people should also consider doing more in-person shopping this year. Not only would this aid in eliminating the issue of added shipping fees or potential delays, but it would also allow people to support smaller, local businesses, which oftentimes aren’t supported enough. Rowan mentions, “I always do all of my shopping online because it’s just easier and has always seemed to make more sense.” In the past, it may have been more convenient, but this simply doesn’t hold true for 2021. Popping into local shops as soon as possible to buy some presents this year is the better option, as it will eliminate any added stress, and give support to retailers in the community.

Lastly, making one’s holiday budget more flexible, even if only by a small amount, is a necessary step to successful holiday shopping in 2021. Retailers everywhere are trying to adjust to the crisis by bringing in goods via air rather than shipping by boat or truck, which is a much more expensive endeavor. Because of this, retailers may not have any choice but to pass that cost along to shoppers, so to be prepared for that, online shoppers should consider increasing their budget. 

Shopping for loved ones around the holidays is meant to be exciting, unifying, and cheerful. Giving is what the season is all about! The global supply chain issues are unfortunate, but all shoppers need to do is adapt. To keep the positive holiday spirit alive this year, and avoid making a fun experience anxiety-provoking, people everywhere should start their holiday shopping now.