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Retailers In For Last Minute Shopping Surge Amid Supply Chain Worries

americanretail nov25 lt

This Black Friday and the following holiday season, retailers across the United States are urged to keep up their inventory amid expected surge in shopping as majority of Americans wait till last minute to fill their baskets, according to certain studies.

A new Oracle Retail survey, which was conducted last week and presented earlier this week, showed that 66 percent of consumers were less than halfway done with their holiday shopping, indicating significant growth in shopping during the Black Friday weekend.

According to a recent NRF survey, about 158 million people are expected to shop in stores or online during the thanksgiving weekend till the end of Cyber Monday.

Meanwhile, the consumers continue to be concerned about ongoing supply chain and climate issues as they do their post-Thanksgiving shopping.

In the country, majority of retailers including Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy, had introduced their offers, mainly online, much earlier, starting in early October, as more days would bring more business. In the recent years, many customers had ditched store visits for online shopping, which skyrocketed during the pandemic period.

Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Retail, said, "The latest numbers continue to highlight the unpredictability of consumers during these interesting times. … Retailers need to be prepared for the surge over the next month and carefully manage inventory and expectations with great transparency and communications to keep customers happy and coming back."

The Oracle survey was conducted of 2,085 Americans in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco, and was run by Untold Insights.

When asked how much of their holiday shopping is complete, only 5 percent said they have done, while 30 percent said they have done none or very little gift buying. Another 7 percent said they don't plan to shop this year.

Regarding early or enhanced access to holiday deals, 35 percent said they would purchase an annual membership, like Amazon Prime, while 39 percent said will shop in-person for in-store only deals.

About their experiences of shopping online and in-store so far this season, customers complained that supply chain issues are causing higher prices as well as items to be out of stock and hard to find. Some stores are also said to be understaffed.

Consumers are also concerned about Christmas trees to become harder to find and more expensive, mainly in certain areas hit hard this year by drought and fires.

A September survey had showed that 52 percent of Americans had already started holiday shopping or plan to shop earlier than usual.

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