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Why You May Want To Start Holiday Shopping In October

best buy shopping line
Eden, Janine and Jim
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Wikimedia Commons
Supply chains could get backed up heading into the holiday seasons. Experts say to buy gifts and other items early.

Consumers may want to consider doing their holiday shopping far in advance this year.

Labor shortages across the world are trickling down to impact what’s in local Central New York stores. Extreme weather events and COVID-19 are preventing people from working, delaying distribution and causing material shortages.

Distributors of clothing, sneakers, cars, and food are all facing these issues. That’s why Patrick Penfield, Syracuse University professor of supply chain practice, said people should start planning ahead.

“That way you’ll be able to make sure that you purchase gifts, and you have whatever stock supplies you can use from a food standpoint,” Penfield said.

He expects these supply chain problems to grow worse later this year as gift-giving drives up demand. But on the bright side, Penfield said products may not be completely unavailable, yet there will likely be less variety and higher prices. He said the food industry will suffer even greater challenges.

“Some of the food production companies are having some problems getting labor and it’s not only food production but it’s also the supermarkets,” Penfield said. “So, they’re having difficulty getting labor; Food might be in the store but it’s not getting out onto the shelves.”

The professor said the issues will likely go on until the pandemic is contained — that means the electronics industry could face trouble until the middle of next year, and for car manufacturers, the struggle could last even later into 2022.