With tight supply chains, extreme weather events on the rise, and inflation permeating the market, this year’s holiday season has yet to feel the return to the post-COVID form we were hoping for. . That said, the forecast isn’t that bad. Here’s all you need to know:
What challenges await us this holiday season?
There are many. On the one hand, inflation is rapidly pushing up the prices of holiday essentials like food and energy, hampering the celebration of one out of ten Americans. Harassed supply chains continue to plague shelves and drive up consumer costs, as retailers face commodity shortages exacerbated by high demand and long wait times. Labor shortages are forcing restaurants and bars to close early or increase prices to manage customer demand. Meanwhile, climate change issues are impacting the growth and price of certain staples for holiday desserts – such as wheat, berries, honey and soybean oil, among others – as well as the supply of decorative pillars. Not to mention the burden of navigating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in which 29 percent of American adults remain unvaccinated as winter approaches and large gatherings move indoors.
There is good news, however: Despite gloomy consumer sentiment towards the economy, the numbers so far indicate Americans are on vacation. shopping anyway. Restaurant, store and online sales increased 1.7 percent in October, department stores, electronics and appliance stores, and online retailers all made gains. Phone results suggest that despite the headaches for consumers or retailers, holiday sales are still bound to shine.
That said, what about Black Friday? Are retailers prepared?
Things may look different for smaller stores, but several retail giants have already indicated their preparation for Black Friday and the holiday season in general. Target said he had “plenty in stock” for post-Thanksgiving deal hunters, having advanced inventory and chartered his own cargo ships to bypass nodes in the supply chain.
In the same way, Walmart said its shelves filled for the winter festivities, after reporting another quarter of high sales. And if you’ve recently found yourself on TikTok Christmas Ornament, Home deposit to you and your seasonal redecorating bug covered, backlogs be damned. The company has used both its financial position as well as its massive volume and scale to avoid congestion in US ports. companies for a better price.
Are people planning to travel?
Presumably. After a holiday season apart in 2020, and with the US border now open to international travelers vaccinated, several studies found Americans ready to celebrate with loved ones this year. AAA estimates Thanksgiving travel to jump 5% from 2019 levels, as about 53.4 million people plan to board planes, trains and cars headed for a feast of Turkey ; the rebound in air travel alone will be up 80% from 2020 levels. Travelers can expect to share the sky, the rails and the road with some 6.4 million more people this year, so definitely get ready.
At travel sites, tropical destinations like the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands are experiencing unprecedented demand for this time of year; ski destinations have also grown in popularity. And for those who choose to go home for Thanksgiving, 73% – more than in 2020 but less than in 2019 – are staying with their families, perhaps a comment on fears of COVID which are diminishing but are still present, especially given the often important holiday business and inside.
How will my favorite holiday meals and treats be affected?
Prepare for spend a little more money. Almost all of the components in your thanksgiving dinner is expected to cost more this year, due to those pesky supply chain issues, increased demand, labor shortages and, you guessed it, inflation. Given the overlap between the basic meals in November and December (as well as the short interim period), these costs will likely carry over from one holiday to the next.
Turkey’s prices are expected to hit record highs. Buns will cost more, as the cost of the ingredients for their manufacture has increased. Cranberry sauce will almost certainly cost more given the failures and limitations of steel production. Be prepared for the milk, sugar, and the aluminum pan you are roasting your turkey in to be affected as well. Even those ready to bake pies are not sure – extreme weather and climate conditions are hitting harvests of ingredients like wheat, berries and soybean oil, causing chaos, shortages and soaring prices for some small pie makers.
What about my favorite holiday events and cheerful decorations?
For those celebrating Christmas, the festivities are often not complete without a visit from Santa during a visit to the mall or a neighborhood gift exchange. Although counterfeit Santa Claus are still on the program this year, bookers and managers are warning that Saint Nicks is currently in strong demand, with less to go around. And the small number of clauses that do not have excluded from the labor market are packing their schedules and billing more by the hour.
This classic christmas tree may also be more difficult to locate. Extreme weather events brought on by climate change – like forest fires, droughts and floods – have hit tree growers this season. Even artificial trees, the majority of which are made in China, could be stranded abroad due to supply chain bottlenecks. If you come across your perfect Tannenbaum, expect to pay at least 20% more for it, whether real or fake.
How do I get around supply and inflation issues while making sure I don’t make the problem worse? How long will this last?
It is not known how long these inconveniences will persist. Although the Federal Reserve has continued to insist that recent inflation is ‘transient’, high prices will probably last until 2022, if not beyond. Supply bottlenecks have shown no signs of easing. Until businesses are able to meet strong consumer demand, these problems – fueled and exacerbated by the pandemic, each in their own way – are expected to continue. To avoid additional shopping issues this season, try to buy locally and in-store to avoid delivery delays, or opt for a handmade gift instead. If you to do plan to buy, be patient, and give yourself plenty of time to tackle your shopping list. And whatever you do do not store and buy panic ingredients, supplies or gifts – experts say this will make matters worse in the long run.