Businesses advise starting holiday shopping now

Labor shortages are causing delays in shipping. Small businesses are urging people to start holiday shopping now to make sure the presents arrive in time.

Posted: Oct 13, 2021 5:35 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2021 10:58 AM

Many people are seeing a short supply of some items in stores because of a massive disruption in the supply chain. That means they're also having to dig deeper in their pockets for some items. 

It's never too early to start ordering for the holidays. Businesses said that's especially true this year, because it's already taking longer to get things in the mail.

Experts suggest starting holiday shopping early

“We don’t control the post office," said Morgan Price, manager of Thrive Boutique in Huntsville. "If you get something from us and you’re trying to send it to somebody else or you order through our website, once we send it out, we have no control.”

Thrive Boutique currently has plenty of clothes in stock. However, Price said, they are seeing some items take longer to arrive.

"It's more of supplies: receipt paper, some bagging stuff — we actually have a sign that’s been in California in a port since July," she said.

Price said her business is already preparing for this holiday season in case the products take too long to arrive from their suppliers.

“Usually we wait until probably the end of October to start getting our stuff together for Black Friday or the Christmas season, but we’ve already started," Price said. "So, hopefully, we’ll be prepared."

The Alabama Retail Association expects record-breaking sales in 2021 for the holiday season. Businesses are already anticipating their products to take longer to arrive to customers.

That's because the labor shortage is causing an increase in shipping delays. There currently aren't enough truck drivers to get items to businesses and to get packages to people's doors. 

Price said the time to shop is now.

“Start early. Do not wait until the last minute because you can never count on somebody else, so make sure you give yourself enough cushion room," said Price. "If you see it, you better go get it because there’s no guarantee that we’re going to get it back in."

There are currently shortages of various items. Experts said toys and electronics are some items that may be hard to get your hands on if you wait. 

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