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Think it’s too soon to start holiday shopping? Think again

Experts say supply chain issues could leave procrastinators with no options for gifts
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:38 AM EDT
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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s not yet Halloween, but one expert said don’t hesitate to get that holiday shopping going.

“I think you should,” said Dr. William Sawaya, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and Chair of the Management Department at Bowling Green State University. “Now, here’s the interesting thing -- we’re going to have plenty of items on the shelves, there will be lots of stuff. It just may not be the exact things that you would like.”

The reason, he says, is the supply chain issues slowing down the delivery of inventory across the country and around the world.

“We get a shipment every Wednesday and we really don’t know what’s coming until it gets here,” said Cheryl Christy, store manager of Shoe Dept. Encore at The Shops at Fallen Timbers. Christy explained the store has a low inventory of men’s and women’s dress shoes because homecoming season depleted what was on the shelves and supply chain issues are tying up delivery of additional dress shoes.

“We don’t have a whole lot,” Christy said. “What we’ve been trying to do with most of our product, where it’s low, is we’re continually moving it forward to try and make the store look a little fuller.”

“In addition to the supply chain issues, what a lot of people are experiencing is staffing issues still. We have a lot of shortages in that regard. And so, you know, spreading out the holiday shopping season is going to be very helpful for local stores,” says Heathyr Clift, Marketing Administrator for The Shops at Fallen Timbers.

“I suspect that if they don’t have it now, or it’s not literally on a ship about to be unloaded in Los Angeles, or in a pile of containers in one of the ports, or on a train, they’re not going to have it by Christmas,” said Dr. Sawaya.

At J. Foster Jewelers, they’re stocked for the season, according to Stanley Bruno, president of this family-owned and operated independent jeweler.

“We actually go to Manhattan at least twice a year and we sit with our suppliers/designers, and we put our Christmas order together. We did that a month and a half ago. And that product has already made its way here to us,” Bruno said.

The only items J. Foster Jewelers needs that are affected by the supply chain slowdowns are paper products, Bruno said, including wrapping paper for gift-wrapping items during the holidays. So, at J. Foster, they’re taking the advice of the experts and stocking up now.

The Shops at Fallen Timbers is also hosting an Art Fair on November 6 and 7 to bring shoppers out ahead of the traditional holiday season. Experts say that weekend may seem like it’s too soon to shop for Christmas, but this year, it’s going to be prime time.

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