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Due To Supply Chain And Staffing Issues, Consumers Are Shopping Earlier And Closer To Home This Holiday Season.


Rose Skripkunis, of Ephrata Township, has completed her holiday shopping.That was nearly three months ago.She is a part of two consumer trends in response to what has become a holiday shopping season unlike any other.

Shoppers like 36-year-old Skripkunis, who makes the majority of his purchases online, are getting an early start – sometimes a very early start – due to supply chain and staffing issues that are causing shortages or delayed deliveries. According to the Deloitte Insights holiday shopping survey, 68% of shoppers planned to shop before Thanksgiving this year due to supply chain concerns, up 7% from last year.

Among those who began shopping earlier, 49 percent did so due to concerns about timely delivery, and 47 percent did so due to concerns about items being out of stock. According to the survey, 62 percent of shoppers expect to buy online this year, up from 64 percent last year.

Supply chain, staffing issues have consumers shopping earlier, closer to  home this holiday season | Local News | lancasteronline.com

Customers are also responding to supply chain concerns by purchasing what is immediately available in front of them at local retailers. According to the Deloitte Insights survey, the percentage of shoppers expected to visit local independent stores is 27 percent, up from 26 percent in 2020, owing in part to disruptions in the global supply chain.

According to the survey, the average number of physical stores visited is expected to be 6.6, up from 5.2 in 2020.

The share of total spending in stores is expected to rise to 33%, up from 28% in 2020.Skripkunis, for example, said that changing her shopping habits this year made all the difference in getting exactly what she wanted in time for the holidays.

“I’m glad I got my shopping done early because I’m starting to notice some empty shelves and shipping problems,” Skripkunis said. “Normally, when I use Amazon, deliveries take a day or two, but some items are taking at least a week or two, which is unusual.

“Skripkunis also stated that she encountered an unusual problem that she had never encountered before. Two online orders she placed appeared to be in transit, but when the delivery day arrived, the orders were missing and were marked “undeliverable” online. She did receive refunds.Angie Piel, a 63-year-old Lancaster resident, will not be frustrated by delivery issues. This year, she plans to do all of her holiday shopping locally.”

I shop locally because when I go into the stores, people know my name, recognise me, and treat me special,” Piel explained.

“As a result, I don’t have to be concerned about supply chains.” I have a good supply of local vendors who can meet the majority of my holiday shopping needs.” Although Piel said she can’t think of any disadvantages to shopping locally, a Deloitte Insights survey found that 40% of shoppers are concerned about shopping in person this season due to COVID-19.

However, Piel claims that because she adheres to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and wears a mask while shopping, the advantages of shopping locally remain unrivalled.”It’s a delight and a joy for me to walk around downtown, see everything nicely decorated, and enjoy the flavour of downtown shopping,” Piel said.

“Times are tough for many of our local retail and restaurant friends; if people focused and concentrated on supporting them, it would assure us of better times ahead.”Shoppers respond to issuesCustomers are changing their minds as a result of a slew of troubling reports about the global supply chain, staffing, and shipping capacity in the aftermath of the pandemic.

According to a New York Post report, Amazon, for example, is struggling to hire 75,000 more warehouse workers and drivers in the United States and Canada due to a pandemic-related labour shortage and is raising wages and incentives. According to an Associated Press report, as of Oct. 22, more than 100 container ships carrying hundreds of millions of dollars in toys, electronics, clothing, and furniture were stranded off the west coast due to delays in offloading and transporting goods away from ports.

Supply chain, staffing issues have consumers shopping earlier, closer to  home this holiday season | Local News | lancasteronline.com

According to the news outlet, approximately 40% of all shipping containers entering the United States pass through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California.According to the National Retail Federation, COVID-19 has caused lockdowns in places where a lot of the world’s toys and gifts are made, such as China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, forcing factories to reduce production or shut down. Shipping companies reduced their schedules in anticipation of a drop in demand.

Instead, demand increased, and people responded to store closures by spending more online rather than less. As a result, supply chain bottlenecks occur.According to a Deloitte Insights survey, 75 percent of holiday shoppers are concerned about stores running out of stock, particularly in electronics, accessories, toys, and hobby supplies.Nonetheless, according to the Deloitte Insights survey, overall holiday spending is expected to rise by 5%. According to the survey, higher-income households will drive the increase in spending.


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