Online holiday shopping faces increase in out-of-stock products – Pasadena Star News
By Brendan Case, Jordyn Holman and Brian Eckhouse | Bloomberg
American online shoppers looking to stock up for the holidays are finding that store shelves, both online and in the mall, are increasingly emptying.
Consumers saw 2 billion out-of-stock messages last month, Adobe Analytics said in a study released Tuesday. Based on the total number of pageviews that include available products, the share of out-of-stock messages increased by a third from the previous year, Adobe said in an email. Compared with October 2019, the share has more than quadrupled, with much of the dislocation occurring in 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
The increase underlines the extent to which port congestion and the squeeze in trucking capacity are impacting the consumer economy. While retail giants such as Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. Say they’re ready to handle the holiday rush, storage headaches mean buyers “will have to be prepared to be flexible,” said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.
The commodity shortage isn’t just online, according to a Morning Consult poll last month. This study found that among those who have already started their holiday shopping, more than half said that a product they wanted to buy in a store was out of stock.
Among online retailers, electronics currently have the highest levels of out-of-stock, followed by jewelry, clothing, home and garden products, and pets, Adobe said.
One of the results of the bottlenecks is that some people have already started shopping, attracted by the early vacation deals. Online spending rose 8% to $ 72.4 billion in October, Adobe said. Big sellers included Got2Glow Fairy Finder and Bluey toys; PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series S consoles; and air fryers.
Mattel CEO is also grappling with demand
Mattel, America’s second-largest toy company behind Hasbro Inc., sees its early purchases in a holiday season rocked by robust demand and supply chain constraints.
âPeople are buying toys earlier,â Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said in an interview on Friday. âWe believe we are in a very good position to do our best to meet all the demand. We may not be able to do everything. “
For the toy industry, the holidays are accentuating a sharp turnaround: sales fell at the start of the pandemic, but have rebounded and now face clogged supply channels and blocked ports.
Mattel, based in El Segundo, anticipated some of the supply chain issues. The company has accelerated the supply of raw materials and aligned sea freight capacity and access to additional ports and shipping lanes.
âWe are not immune,â Kreiz said of the constraints that have crippled many industries. âIt’s not that we are not affected, but we are able to deal with it and overcome it. “
Mattel improved its forecast for the full year last month, indicating that it expects to meet more demand than it expected.
Online shopping accounted for over 35% of sales in the fourth quarter of last year. Now it’s around 25%, Kreiz said, with physical stores also seeing growth. Mattel serves 470,000 stores worldwide.
âSome of the retailers who pulled out of toys are now looking to come back,â he said. âRetailers are looking. “
Some of the California-based company El Segundo’s most popular toys this season include Barbie, Hot Wheels Monster Trucks, Masters of the Universe, and American Girl.