How supply chain issues are impacting the holidays

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 11:01 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the holiday shopping rush was in full swing just days before Christmas, an industry expert said supply chain issues were impacting everything from toys to electronics and food. It’s one more thing to blame on the pandemic, according to industry expert Patrick Murphy.

The supply chain disruption made finding a few of your favorite things and gifts more difficult during the holiday season, or they will just cost a lot more. “You have a global pandemic which has had an affect on the labor force who make the parts that go into products and other types of things that are shipped through distribution and logistical networks. It all adds up to certain parts not being available. So, products can’t be completed; therefore, they can’t be shipped. Therefore, they don’t end up on the shelves,” Patrick Murphy, Professor and Goodrich Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at The University of Alabama at Birmingham explains. Murphy says it’s a blessing issues were driving inflation as well.

He says both shopping in-store and online will be challenging a head of the holiday when shoppers are on tight deadlines. ”Shoppers are going to have to get really resourceful. They are going to have to shop early. If you haven’t shopped already, you should’ve been shopping yesterday,” Murphy says.

Murphy says if you’re shopping online be vigilant. ”You’re going to have to do research. You’re going to have to be careful. There are a lot of aftermarket sellers,” he advises. He also warns to not put too much stock into expected shipping dates.

“Expect delays. It might be promised on the 15th and you may not get it until the 22nd,” he warns.

As for how long these issues will last, Murphy says its hard to predict but he expects the delays to ease up by the middle of 2022.


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