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Analysts urge shopping early, say holiday promotions will likely be lower this year

BBB offers Black Friday shopping tips
Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 18:17:15-04

With the holidays right around the corner, and shortages hitting nearly every industry, experts say if you see any items you want or need, you need to buy them now.

Smaller stores are not very optimistic about receiving more orders as the holiday season approaches, and some are still waiting on items that were ordered during the summer.

The global supply chain has been hit hard by a multitude of problems, from factories having to close due to COVID-19 surges to a lack of containers to ship items in, and of course those backups at the ports and shortage of truck drivers.

“A lot of big ships line off the coast, want to dock, cannot dock, and if they can dock, they cannot unload because there are not enough trucks to deliver the products to their destinations,” said Axel Stock, Assoc. Professor of Marketing at UCF.

And not only will you have a hard time finding what you want this Christmas, but analysts say you'll also be paying more.

While some of the busiest shopping days of the year are just around the corner, supply chain analysts are urging people not to wait.

“Black Friday needs to be black Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. If you’re in the store and you see it, it may not necessarily be the exact brand you need, but try and be a little bit flexible,” said Brett Rose, CEO of United National Consumer Suppliers (UNCS).

Flexibility is going to be key this year. Consumerism is high, the product is being made, but the struggle is getting them on the shelves.

“How does it get from the factory to the port and the port to the stores is really where the problem is,” said Rose.

And if it does hit the stores, analysts say consumers are going to deal with inflation this year.

“If you can find the product, you are going to pay more in 2022 than you ever have,” said Rose.

Rose says there will still likely be a lot of hype around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the discounts may not be as steep.

“A sale price this year might be last year’s normal price. When you have freight rates, 3, 4, 5x, that’s going to trickle down,” said Rose.

During a Goldman Sach’s conference in September, Macy’s Inc. CFO said the company is being more strategic about promotions this year:

“This year’s promotional levels have been lower than historical levels, and we've been thoughtful about the categories that need promotion.”
Adrian Mitchell, Macy's Inc. CFO

So you’ll likely pay more, and you may have to hunt to find what you’re looking for. Analysts expect that may be the case for a while.

“We are absolutely in this transportation crisis for, depending on the model, 8-18 months, I’d say probably 8-12 months. That’s going to affect prices for the foreseeable future,” said Rose.

Rose expects prices may start to level out by the next holiday season.