With less than 100 days to Christmas, Santa may not have time to bring some of the items on your children’s lists.
Experts warn of a major toy shortage this holiday season, due to safeguards in the global supply chain. Their advice: start shopping now to get those must-have gifts, and to avoid shipping costs and long delays.
Paul Sahagian, owner of The Learning Express in Needham, Massachusetts, is grateful for a recent toy delivery.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult to get stuff this year…. The turnaround time was six weeks instead of two, there are some companies that if you don’t order by a certain date, that’s it, ”he said.
The stars are in Boston and they’re bringing the holiday season to the city, even though it’s the first day of fall.
Already, Sahagian has some storage space in his Lego department, and he expects his hottest toys, Squishmallows plush and bustle toys, to sell out year round.
“I tell them, ‘Hey look, if you see something, buy it,’” Sahagian said.
Harvard Business School sourcing expert Willy Shih said the American consumer buys a lot, especially in Asia and China.
“You even have companies like Walmart and Home Depot chartering additional ships because they can’t even get space on some of those trade routes,” Shih said.
Experts predict the United States could experience supply shortages for holiday gifts, decorations and Christmas trees this year as pandemic supply chains remain on hold.
Due to the short holiday retail season, stores try to buy their merchandise early and order more, which Shih says makes the bottleneck worse.
“Container lines are overwhelmed, even though they have added excess capacity…. They are struggling to find enough truckers to transport all these containers full of imports, ”he said.
Experts also warn of a current shortage of solid-state chips, which could make it harder to get a video game console for the holidays.