Supply Chain to Affect Holiday Shopping

Logistics snarls and labor shortages are to blame for projected empty shelves.

September 23, 2021

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Supply chain snarls will largely affect inventory surrounding the holiday season, and not just holiday foods and toys, but also basics such as coffee and footwear, reports Axios.

Many stores are attempting to prepare for the increase in spending during the holidays, but supply chain logistics are foiling their plans. Key ports such as Long Beach and Los Angeles have a record number of cargo ships waiting to dock and unload because of pandemic restrictions, labor shortages and record prices for Chinese shipping containers. Because of congested ports, Walmart is chartering its own ships, and so is Home Depot, while Lululemon is increasing air shipments.

Toy distributors MGA Entertainment and Basic Fun told Axios that toys will be scarcer and more expensive.

"The [shipping] container that cost $3,200 last year is now $22,000," Larian told Axios, blaming Maersk and other shipping giants.

The supply chain issues stem from COVID-19 outbreaks in key Asian supplier countries, the U.S. truck driver shortage, domestic warehouse worker shortages and wildfires in Bangladesh. Factories are also trying to recover from last year’s holiday shopping season.

Register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on category management, including these sessions developed by retailers for retailers: 

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