The world was a very different place at the beginning of 2020. At that time, there were only rumors of a new, deadly virus that had begun to make many people very ill in Wuhan, China. Fast forward two years and now COVID-19 dominates our lives in countless ways.
Consumer demand is naturally higher during the holiday season. People will naturally be seeking to purchase gifts for their friends and family and, given how upsetting the events of the past two years have been, they may want to pamper themselves too. This puts levels of stress on retailers, who are at the end of the manufacturer-to-customer supply chain.
The Way the World Has Changed Since 2020, and the Way we Shop Has Changed Too
Surely, they should be used to it by now? But then there is a real problem that retailers have to deal with that will have a cascading effect on holiday shopping much more than it did last year.
COVID-19, despite all our best efforts, is simply not going to go away anytime soon. The original virus has already claimed plenty of lives, and now we are dealing with multiple and even more contagious variants such as Delta and the recently discovered Omicron making matters even worse.
Much of the world’s consumer items come from areas in Southeast Asia such as Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as of course, from China itself. Many production plants in these areas have been under-staffed and therefore under-producing for well over eighteen months now, and some have been shut down altogether.
If Less Products are Being Produced, Less Products Can Viably Reach the Shores of the US
Getting these items from their point of manufacture to the United States is of course a problem too. If less items are being produced, actually shipping them abroad becomes less attractive to freight companies. A cargo ship only really becomes cost-effective when it is fully laden. Add to this the extra protection needed at ports and arrival terminals, this lessens the attractiveness of sending items abroad.
You can take your own stress out of your holiday shopping by getting everything you need and all your holiday essentials as early as possible before the demands of consumers strip the shelves bare of what there actually is to buy.
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