Holiday Haywire


Sydney McCrone

Sometimes buying simple is better than by extravagantly. Smart shopping is the best way to get the most bang for your buck.

Have you already stressed yourself out trying to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones? You’re probably not alone. Every year it feels like the holiday season starts earlier and earlier. Towns are decorated with garlands and wreaths in early November, wrapping paper and decor are stocked in the shelves before Thanksgiving, and the stress of the season rises with every little reminder of the upcoming holidays. 

To add to the Christmas chaos, the retail industry is experiencing a lack of supplies and products, labor shortages, and a lack of employees. Consumers are at a mad dash to be the first to buy any and every gift before the next person. If you are a last minute shopper, you may want to reconsider your holiday tactics and join the bandwagon of early shoppers. 

COVID-19 has not only had a long lasting effect on the medical and public health sector, but has also scrambled the system regarding consumer goods and services. The economy is on its way to recovery, but it initially tanked during the pandemic due to an increase in unemployment rates and closure of small and local businesses according to the Brookings Instiution. This meant that our normal spending habits have risen as the price of consumer goods has increased due to high demand from our lack of supplies and an increase in shipping and manufacturing fees. In other words, the American economy, among many others, is facing massive inflation rates. 

According to Salesforce, a customer relationship management service that focuses on analytics and marketing automation, they predict that U.S retailers will face an extra $223 billion in costs for their goods this holiday season. Not only will retailers face a massive decrease in their usual profits, but consumers will actually take the biggest hit as the expenses grow. 

The shortages of certain products vary widely from everyday household items, like napkins and paper towels, to high tech products, like televisions and headphones. According to A Bullseye View, Target’s corporate website, has taken matters into their own hands by chartering their very own container ship, in which they hope to bypass shipping and manufacturing issues if their company has full control. Other companies such as Costco, Walmart, and Home Depot, have done the same, and have also offered early Black Friday and holiday sales before most of the other retailers. 

Another reason you should start your search for gifts early is because of the retail sectors’ need for profits. With the individual companies’ recovery in mind, many businesses have halted their usual sales because they know the consumer’s demand is so high that customers will be willing to pay abnormally high prices. An article published by Business Insider explains that Amazon and Walmart are already offering seasonal prices before other stores. Black Friday doesn’t officially start until Nov. 26, but it’s a good idea to look for those hard to pass prices as the holidays close in.  When it comes to the most popular gifts of the season, many products are bound to sell out quickly if they haven’t already, with a high probability of items going on back order as well. “Toy Guy” Chris Byrne, said on the Today show that, “All of the big brands people know, they’ve been able to get stuff into the country.” However, even with toy companies working around shipping problems, Byrne believes that the hottest items will sell out before we even know it. 

If you don’t want to deal with the constant concern of your gifts selling out or not shipping in time, there are some ways to work around the chaos. Purchasing gift cards, buying early, or shopping from popular websites and companies will be your best bet. E-gift cards have become a hot commodity in recent years as many people aren’t able to buy physical items for their loved ones. These provide you and your receiver with the option to buy themselves a gift they will love without putting the pressure on you to buy the perfect gift. If you’re still trying to find the gift that your family or friend will love, check out Today for a full breakdown on the 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for any and every occasion.