Supply chain crisis could be a problem for holiday shopping, small businesses in the Triangle affected

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Supply chain disruptions prompt experts to warn of the impact this may have on holiday shopping this season.

Outbreaks of COVID at international factories, trucking and personnel shortages in the United States, and more noticeably this week, bottlenecks at some key U.S. ports, there are growing concerns that many freebies the families planning to buy this holiday season will not be available or will not be available. not arrive before Christmas.

“There are bottlenecks all along the chain,” said Rob Handfield, professor and supply chain expert at North Carolina State University.

“The demand for goods has increased,” Handfield said. “The capacity of the ports to manage it has remained the same. And we have also experienced additional labor shortages.

Handfield predicts the issue will lead to product unavailability as the holiday shopping season picks up. In some cases, he said shipping delays will likely cause customers to not receive gifts purchased online until early 2022.

“If you’re lucky you could get it in January, but you could get it in February, March or even April, for that matter,” he said.

While the problem – and the impact – is felt nationally and globally, it also has a profound impact on small businesses in the Triangle.

Nick Nicholson, owner of Raleigh Nick’s Trains hobby store, said he noticed that some of the products he was selling had become more difficult to obtain.

“A lot of items that used to be available on a regular basis are not as readily available now, and some items you hardly can get hold of,” Nicholson said.

He showed CBS17’s Sean Cudahy some of the aisles in his store, where unavailable products left empty spaces.

“In 26 years, this is the worst year of sourcing we’ve seen,” Nicholson said, noting that he tells customers to order products immediately if they see something they want.

Likewise, Handfield said advance buying could be an option.

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