When should you start shopping for the holidays?


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2020 has been a year like no other with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world. Many people moved away from the crowds in the stores and turned to their computers instead. Last year, most people shopped online and in stores, but 22% of those surveyed by Loan tree said they would do their holiday shopping only online (only 11% said the same about going to brick-and-mortar stores only).

Now is the 2021 holiday season and COVID-19 has gone nowhere. As much of the world closed its doors last year, the supply chain has become congested and the effects persist.

Buyers might be surprised at the lack of selection when they go to buy.

According to a report by The Washington Post.

Companies like Bed Bath and Beyond, Nike and Kohls are all expected to have less inventory this holiday season.

In Nike’s most recent conference call with investors, Matt Friend, chief financial officer of Nike, spoke about the fact that the product now takes double the time it takes to move from Asia to North America. Add to that the problem that 80% of the company’s factories in Vietnam are currently closed. Friend told investors the company lost 10 weeks of production. He said a few factories are planning to reopen soon, but holiday production has been delayed.

“We are optimistic about improving the supply of on-hand inventory as we approach fiscal 2023,” Friend said.

You read that right, Nike is hoping it will have more shoes on the shelves in over a year.

So start your holiday shopping as soon as your budget allows and take a few factors into account:

Return windows

Shopping in October means you might be too close when it comes to whether the recipient of a gift may be able to return something. Stores like Costco and Nordstrom are known for their generous return policies, and Target allows most returns 90 days after purchase. But places like Best Buy and Apple only allow around two weeks for their standard return windows. Before purchasing, please make sure that your purchase can be returned after December 25th.

Black Friday early

Amazon has previously kicked off “Black Friday-worthy” sales by saying that customers can shop with confidence early “knowing they’re getting amazing deals”. Target will be holding its “Deal Days” from October 10 to 12, with discounts on thousands of items. The company will also match prices until December 24. Even if you buy something from Target in November and another company has a lower price in December, Target will match that price.

Less sales

With the inventory shortage expected during the holiday season, some industry analysts are warning customers that they may have to pay top dollar for this “must-have” toy. “Supply being an issue, we don’t expect to see a lot of discounts on these products,” Julie Ramhold with DealNews.com Recount CNBC.

Buy local

If you’re worried that a gift will arrive on time, skip online shopping and instead head to your local store to pick the perfect gift. Small businesses have been hit hard during the pandemic and with current labor shortages, now is a great time to shop local. You can also check with your local government to see if yours is one of the many places that offer “buy local” incentives. Cities like Holladay, Utah, and Kenai, Alaska, are using the pandemic stimulus money to give vouchers to residents to use in local businesses.

Reward delivery people

There is also a shortage of delivery drivers at the moment. FedEx said it had “declining operating results” due to insufficient staff. An Amazon driver said Business intern he was told to hand out business cards to “drivers, landscapers, anyone we see on the road.” He said if Amazon hires the person accordingly, they get a bonus of $ 300. So remember to show some gratitude to the drivers you dropped off at your door. Join the trend of leaving a thank you sign, snacks, or bottled water for them. Youtube is full of heartwarming videos of delivery drivers showing sheer happiness at such a small gesture.

Keep these tips in mind and go shopping. For more incentive, note that the Loan tree The survey found that around the same time last year, 25% of consumers had completely finished shopping for Christmas gifts.

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