DALLAS — A pro tip from a logistics expert who handles supply chains for hundreds of businesses that sell their products online: Many items may not arrive in time because of supply chain problems.
When they do arrive late (think January), retailers may have to put them on sale to clear the inventory. So, cash and gift cards may be especially good holiday gifts this year - if recipients can hold on until January to shop.
This week we give thanks, including thanks that holiday shopping deals are also online and don’t require that you join the frenzy in person.
If you are among those who usually wait until the last minute, you may have spent the last several weeks ignoring all the warnings that you need to get your shopping done extra early this year since supply chains are so kinked and broken and many items are already out of stock.
But even the proud procrastinator may be converted by the words of Professor Margaret Kidd. She is the Program Director of Supply Chain and Logistics Technology at the University of Houston. She said she also pushes the shopping deadline each year.
“I'm the kind of shopper that goes in and the candy canes are gone at Target when I show up on Christmas Eve,” she admitted.
But that is in a "normal" year. This time around, she said “I do plan to shop before Christmas Eve.”
In fact, she said she is planning to get all of her shopping done around Thanksgiving. Professor Kidd said you just can’t take anything for granted in a year like this, because so many products are stuck in supply chain limbo.
Professor Kidd is our first guest in the latest episode of our Y’all-itics podcast. We also hear from Aaron Armistead, the regional vice president for NFI Industries. He said the good news is, that a lot of the things we want aren't in short supply. In fact, it’s stacked to the ceilings inside American warehouses.
“There's just no place left to put anything,” he said.
But, he said the bad news is that much of that stuff that’s all stacked up may not get onto trucks, into stores, or into your cart in time.
That may help explain why the National Retail Federation reports 46% of Americans surveyed said that they started their holiday shopping earlier this year than they typically do. And shoppers have been spending a lot. But Kidd said she believes that will be changing after the holidays.
“It's not sustainable…this pace," she said. "I think, within the next six months or so, we'll be approaching more normal spending.”
Will prices go back down too? We also get into that…and a lot more.
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