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Supply chain issues, record-breaking holiday shopping season could cause inventory issues

Target Thanksgiving
Posted at 4:52 PM, Nov 24, 2021

Despite the pandemic and supply chain issues, the National Retail Federation expects a record-breaking holiday shopping season.

"From a retailer perspective, this is perhaps the most challenging holiday season ever to manage through," Scott Rankin with KPMG said.

Rankin's company works with Fortune 500 companies around the world. He said many retailers have been working to mitigate supply chain issues since this time last year.

"In general, many retailers have been over-ordering to make sure that they have sufficient supply of goods across the range of categories for the holiday season," Rankin said.

In a survey of more than 100 retailers, 39% told KPMG they're very concerned about stock issues. 43% said they're somewhat concerned.

But, Rankin said retailers have been strategic so shoppers won't leave empty-handed.

"For toys, it's a similar approach to what they've taken in the past, which is let's make sure that we have a representative sample of enough of a breadth of categories, brands and SKUs so that if we don't have the exact item, the demand shifts to something that's close enough," Rankin said.

But when inventory is low at stores, some shoppers turn to the Internet. Bryan Oglesby with the Better Business Bureau of West Florida said that can lead to trouble.

"Consumers are losing billions of dollars to online purchase scams. BBB has reported this scam as the highest, most riskiest scam for three years in a row," Oglesby said.

The BBB said they've identified fake websites imitating more than 400 brands. Oglesby said even if you see toys or other hot ticket items advertised at decent prices, always double check the link.

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"Just because you see an advertisement on social media does not make the company legitimate. When you click on that link and you visit a website, look up the URL. What website are you actually on," Oglesby said.

You can check to see if a vendor is legitimate by typing in their name on the BBB's website.