NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - With supply chain issues and slower shipping times, it may be harder to get your gifts before the holidays.
It is just two weeks away from Black Friday. Still, chances are many people have probably already begun their Christmas shopping early.
Deals are starting earlier to lure in Christmas shoppers to help them get ahead of added stress in the next few weeks. Stores are already experiencing half-full shelves thanks to supply chain issues all over the country. Experts said if there's something that you must have this holiday season, get it now and don't wait.
"Retailers are definitely getting an early start to Black Friday this year." says Kristin McGrath, Editor of The Real Deal at RetailMeNot. "This year, the hottest items are definitely going to be those gaming consoles-- especially the new Nintendo Switch console-- as well as the ones that were released last year like Xbox and PlayStation. They're going to be super hard to get. Don't expect them to be on sale. You may find retails offering bundles like a few games thrown in, but those will be in very short supply. You'll be lucky if you get one of those consoles in time for the holidays."
If a consumer finds that perfect gift, don't be surprised if you're paying more for it.
"The supply chain issues are pushing prices up across the board," McGrath explained. "On toys, giftable items, clothing, furniture, anything with a chip, you'll probably be paying more for it."
As far as how people are shopping this year, online is still the king. But expect stores to be a little more crowded than usual, as getting your hands on those presents now is the only way to guarantee they'll be under your tree in time.
"This year, with the shipping deadlines being earlier than ever, I think last-minute shoppers are going to be pushed into stores," McGrath said. "That doesn't necessarily mean they have to go into the store. They can utilize curbside pickup. But yes, I anticipate we're going to see people shopping in stores last minute, when in previous years, they may have still been able to get stuff online."
Since Black Friday sales might not be as spectacular as they have been in years past, consumers should try to save money in any way. While many stores may not have super sales, many of them will have rewards programs that will give bonus bucks to use at their store when people shop there again later. People can also take advantage of websites such as RetailMeNot that provide the consumer with promo codes and even cash back for purchasing through them.