Shoppers will need to be flexible and patient this holiday season as the ripple effect of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the supply chain of consumer goods, especially the inventory and supply for small businesses, says Virginia Tech expert Barbara Hoopes.
“Supply chain challenges will definitely affect holiday shopping,” says Hoopes. “Small businesses in particular may be disproportionately affected since they don’t have reserves to handle the disruptions like some larger organizations do.”
Hoopes says that pre-pandemic, retailers were already moving holiday promotions into the fall in order to predict demand and smooth holiday deliveries. “This year will be worse than average and don’t count on last-minute deliveries to be reliable.”
Hoopes offers the following advice for holiday shoppers:
- Support small and local businesses with your holiday purchases.
- Shop early as inventory and supply may be a…