This holiday season, supply chain delays and shortages are seemingly improving, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, manufacturing and retail executives don’t expect supply chains to return to normal until next year, which might mean you’ll want to get your holiday shopping done sooner rather than later.
On several wish lists this year are vinyl records, as vinyl sales rose significantly within the first six months of 2021. However, some local shops are advising to get your records as quickly as possible, as they won’t be able to guarantee they will have certain items in stock in time for the holidays.
“If you see an album you want, or someone else might like as a gift, buy it right then,” says Katie Scott, owner of Red Zeppelin Records in McKinney. “We can’t promise we will see it again before the end of the year, so get it while you can.”
As vinyl continues being a popular purchase in physical media, demand could be dwindling — at least in some aspects — in the gaming world for the first time in years, as XBOX, Playstation and Nintendo Switch devices allow gamers to purchase new games via digital download on their devices, as opposed to buying discs and cards in the stores. The game systems themselves are still expected to be big sellers during the holiday season.
But like with vinyl, GameStop recommends buying the moment the devices are available for purchase.
“If it’s Black Friday, or if it’s any other day, get them when they’re available,” says Jose, a manager at a Dallas GameStop, “because they do not pop up often.”
In the past, other electronics such as televisions, laptops and cameras have been hotly anticipated Black Friday items, but this year, more stationary setups will be marked down in stores like Best Buy and Micro Center.
Computer monitors, processors, laptops, desktops, iPads and smart home devices, like Amazon Echo products or Apple Homes are expected to be hot sellers this year. This is most likely due to the fact that many corporate offices have allowed their employees to work from home permanently, even as COVID restrictions begin to ease up, and these are the kinds of products that support working from home.
“Vendors are going to try to get the products to us as fast as we can,” says Brent, a representative for Micro Center. “We’re doing our best to put in our requests in time, but I can’t guarantee our stock will be huge in time for Christmas.”
Several articles, however, warn that Black Friday sales are not the best time to buy in-demand electronics, and that it’s best to take advantage of individual chain’s sales during slower retail times. This year, Black Friday discounts are expected to be smaller than in past years so retailers can keep up with demand — and perhaps because of inflation. Even the Dollar Store is now raising its standard pricing to $1.25.
The delays with major retailers prompt us once again to make the case for shopping at smaller, local stores, which boosts the local economy and supports independent vendors.
In the realm of fashion, several retailers and local designers are having trouble getting products delivered on time. Hoodies, shirts and other common gifts may be delayed in delivery. So you might want to plan on knitting those gloves for Dad yourself.
Local designers say the best way to make sure you receive your apparel on time is to purchase it in person.
“With the shortage, we’ve had a lot of trouble finding certain colors and sizes of shirts and hoodies,” said Malcriadas Collective owners BB Velez and Rosa Rodriguez in a joint message to the Observer. “And even when we find what we need, the deliveries are often delayed for weeks. For us, we have found that pre-orders work best since we are able to order exactly what the customers need and are able to inform them of an approximate date for when they should expect their items. The best way to purchase however will always be to catch us at one of our pop-ups.”
And for the kids, Toys Unique (5600 W. Lovers Lane) will have several toys, games and other knick-knacks in stock. They won’t be having any huge Black Friday sales because of a shortage of staff, but they planned ahead for the supply chain shortage to ensure a fully stocked store, featuring Pokemon products and other family board games, which owner Pam May says have sold well over the course of the past year.
“I think that if you’re shopping in small businesses, you’ll be fine,” May says. “I knew about this supply chain problem back in April. … We have been stockpiling product in anticipation of the holidays. We plan to be very well stocked for January, because we recognize that if these vendors are not going to have the product in December, they’re sure not going to have it in January. And we need to have a store full of product for our customers.”