Retailers: Buy your holiday gifts early because of car, food, staffing shortages


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Shoppers across the U.S are getting a head start to the holiday season.

“We are wrapping every day for Christmas and Hanukkah,” Toy Mania store manager Sherri Stone said.  “This year it seems that we do have people shopping earlier, they are concerned about the supply chain and it is a real issue.”

A potential stressful shopping season, stemming from high demand for products, a hold-up at ports, and factory closures overseas because of Covid.

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“There are items that normally in the past we could order up to 10 days before Christmas and Hanukkah and have them here.  But this year, we cannot get an ETA on most of our products,” Stone said.

Big retailers like Amazon and Target are pushing out holiday deals earlier than ever before.

“Retailers have a lot at stake in terms of the Christmas season,” Professor of Financial Economics at Belk College of Business John Connaughton said.

While he says supply chain issues for products like children’s toys are legitimate, big box stores are taking advantage of the constant talk of shortages.

“We are seeing a problem, with the global supply chain, people are being alerted to it, people are responding to it, and retailers are saying ‘hey, let’s take advantage of this, let’s get out in front of this, let’s wrap this up early let’s get some money in the system and get profitable sooner rather than later,” Connaughton said.

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Smaller, local retailers like Toy Mania whose products are impacted by supply chains say they have been seeing order back-up for months.

“We still have some products that we ordered in March that we may have seen ¼ of that order.  Some of the manufacturers can’t even tell us where it is and if it is sitting on the water, they have no idea when it is going to arrive.” Stone said.


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