That Tree May Be Bare of Gifts This Year

We’ve been hearing for months about the impact of disruptions to the supply chain, a shortage of shipping containers, a shortage of drivers, a disappearance of computer chips – but it’s time to get serious.

This is about to intersect with Christmas shopping.

There might be some unfulfilled wishes this year.

“This holiday shopping season is facing a perfect storm,” says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert with Retail Me Not, an online source for finding the best deals, before listing the same talking points we’ve had for the past six months. Electronic gift purchasing may be affected the most because of those chip shortages and because most of them are made in other countries.

Bah Humbug, you say. Get cracking now, say the shopping experts suggest.

Those who wait for Black Friday may wait too long, McGrath cautions.

Retail Me Not did a survey of more than 1,000 shoppers and 37% have already started. 22% say they’ll get after it this month and 24% say they’ll wait a few weeks.

Old Man Time is working against us.

Each year, the amount of online shopping increases and the amount fills news headlines, so use a little imagination and you can expect that online shopping will go up again this year. That means added strain to postal and delivery systems. It might be your best option for some items this year, but expect to pay. “Yes, absolutely, consumers can expect higher prices,” says McGrath. “Retailers are paying more for shipping and labor, and that’s going to be reflected in the price of everything.”

While the pumpkins are carved and the kiddies in costumes, it might be time to shift your thinking to tinsel, mistletoe and wish lists.

photo: Getty Images

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