NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The race to get gifts under the Christmas tree is starting early this year. This comes as shops are facing low inventory due to supply chain issues sparked by COVID. Local businesses said they are getting orders in as soon as possible to make sure there are things on the shelves this holiday season. They said the backup is so bad, they are already ordering for holidays in 2022.
“There was a family in last Saturday that spent several hundred dollars,” Powell Philips at Philips Toy Mart said. “I said, ‘now or Christmas?’ They said Christmas.”
This comes as shops are facing low inventory due to supply chain issues sparked by Covid. News 4’s Courtney Allen spoke with people buying early.
Philips said his sales this summer were 40 percent higher than 2019, and that was with 40 percent less inventory than usual. He said the low inventory is due to supply chain problems we have been seeing nationwide. Philips said it’s a concern for him especially ahead of the Christmas demand. “Absolutely,” Philips said. “More this year than any other by far.”
Philips said the bottleneck has gotten so bad that he is already placing orders now for Easter. He said he usually doesn’t start that until after Christmas. “I see the biggest supply problem being containers and the ships still in harbor not being able to be unloaded,” Philips said.
Dozens of cargo ships are still out at sea. President Joe Biden announced this week that the Port of Los Angeles will begin 24/7 operations in a sprint to Christmas as big box stores and shipping giants like UPS also expand their hours. “I have started looking in a few stores and plan to do some online sooner rather than later just to get ahead of it in case everything does run out closer to Christmas,” shopper Mary Husband said.
This comes as truckers, railways and warehouses have all lost staff amid the pandemic.