Supply chain problems likely to create problems for holiday shoppers

Shoppers prepare for increased prices following a year of disruptions to the supply chain.
Shoppers prepare for increased prices following a year of disruptions to the supply chain.
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 8:18 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:26 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The holiday shopping season is underway, and this year, the season is going to prove more challenging, thanks to continued problems in the supply chain.

The issues plaguing virtually every industry are following retailers right into the holiday season. Peter Lukszys, a senior lecturer for UW-Madison’s Department of Marketing, says the disruptions can be traced back to various sources. From shipping delays, and a shortage of truck drivers, to rising prices in materials that are increasing the cost of making products, every industry is experiencing the issues.

Rising prices are already a problem for shoppers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 5.4% rise in the consumer price index in September in a year-over-year comparison. That is also 3% higher than before the pandemic.

The impact of supply chain disruption on holiday shopping

This year, the National Retail Federation anticipates shoppers could spend up to $859 billion for the holidays, a steep rise from last year’s $777 billion spent during the holidays. And Lukszys says some items will be harder to find or more expensive than others.

“Some of the categories that are going to be most affected are toys, any type of electronics, or anything that has a chip, your favorite type of wine or bourbon, anything in a glass bottle right now too,” said Lukszys. “That’s really due to the logistics hang-up and supply chain.”

But there are a few ways to try and get around problems presented by the supply chain issues.

“I would say think about a substitute gift, and maybe that substitute gift is more of a digital gift, or a service gift, get a trainer session or a meal subscription for a friend,” said Lukszys.

And the shopping has already begun for many. The NRF reports that nearly 50% of shoppers are starting to tackle the holiday gift list before November.

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