Shop Early This Year: Supply Chains Aren’t Picking up Any Time Soon
Holiday shopping is an annual occurrence, so you likely have an existing routine. In previous years, you might have begun shopping in early December. That same strategy could make your 2022 buying experience more costly and frustrating than ever.
Supply chains will continue to struggle with restocking stores and delivering goods on time in the near future. Read a few ways it’ll affect the furniture and home decor purchases you’ve been looking forward to and you could score better deals.
1. Sales Are Starting Now
Brands want to make their customers happy, but the executive teams also know they can’t control every aspect of the supply chain. They’re getting ahead of holiday inventory issues by starting sales early. Six major brands just had Black Friday sales in October and many others anticipate Christmas sales in November.
Start shopping for furniture now while the prices are competitive. When it gets closer to the holidays and inventory runs low, brands won’t be able to host their sales at more traditional winter dates.
2. Reduced Inventory Will Raise Prices
There are many factors business owners consider when pricing their inventory. They must count how many items they have and if they’re below or above their expected number of goods. If they’re running low, the cost per item will rise to cover expenses. Those might include the warehouses for storing their inventory and the efforts made to keep products from spoiling, such as running refrigerated units for edible products.
Business owners also have to factor in the disrupted supply chain for their holiday pricing. They may place rushed shipment orders that cost more, so the price of their goods increases to cover that cost. They could also have to pay more for their usual shipment schedules due to the increased demand on the supply chain.
Consumers can expect prices to remain high or become more costly if the supply chain worsens before the holidays. Shopping for goods like household decor and furniture now will prevent you from paying increased prices in the coming days or weeks.
3. Staff Shortages Remain
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there would be 2.9 million more employed workers right now if the pandemic hadn’t happened. There’s still a significant staff shortage affecting the supply chain, which will affect your holiday shopping.
When a company doesn’t have enough employees to manage products in transit, the items are more likely to get damaged. Additionally, a lack of staff can mean a higher risk of theft. Last-minute orders can cause team members to rush during the shipment process and make unfortunate mistakes.
While these are major causes for concern, there are other means to ensure inventory stored in warehouses is safely secured and stored properly to reduce damage. By reinforcing your warehousing entrances with security cameras and proper enclosures, warehouse managers can combat some of these challenges amidst the increasing staffing shortages.
4. Inventory Will Restock Slower
The supply chain contains many moving parts that have all been affected by the recent pandemic. Worker shortages in production facilities have made producing materials and parts slower. Companies must wait longer to obtain the materials needed to create their products. When they’re ready to ship, fewer ship operators currently work on cargo ships than in previous years, so the delivery takes longer.
All of these problems will compound for consumers who wait until the last minute to start shopping. When a store’s inventory runs low, restocking will take much longer than usual. You might not get the items you need or want for your home, so try to shop sooner to avoid this issue.
5. Inflation May Rise
Everyone’s watched inflation projection rates over the past year because they affect everything from housing prices to the supply chain. Although inflation decreased to 7.7% in October and remained down from the June high of 9.1%, the risk of ever-changing market conditions could cause it to soar again.
If inflation were to increase, the price of everything would rise with it. It’s in every consumer’s best interest to invest in their holiday shopping and household upgrades sooner than later.
6. Fewer Products Limit Sale Opportunities
Sales are only possible when business owners can offer a percentage discount and still maintain a net profit. It often happens when there’s an excess in inventory that needs to sell so there’s warehouse storage space when an upcoming shipment arrives. Since supply chain restocks are happening slowly, there will be less drive to put items on sale during the upcoming holidays.
There’s also greater consumer demand for a smaller amount of goods. People will be more willing to pay higher prices to get what they want or need on time. Demand increases as the holidays approach, so shopping early this year will minimize the chance of paying more for the furniture or home goods you want.
Start Your Holiday Shopping Early
The supply chain likely won’t improve any time soon, so try to shop early this year for your home or holiday celebrations. You’ll get the best prices, stress less about finding things in stock, and enjoy the holidays more.
Rose Morrison is a home-living writer with over five years of experience. She is the managing editor of Renovated.com, a home living site where she loves to cover home renovations and decor to inspire everyone to live their best DIY life. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her baking something to satisfy her never-ending sweet tooth. For more articles from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter.