Supply chain shortage hits holiday shoppers

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Image Courtesy of Unsplash

Elizabeth Casto, Entertainment Editor

This year, U.S. shoppers will experience the slowest economy in years, thanks to global supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prices are increasing and supply is decreasing, which will prove troublesome for holiday shoppers this season. 

“When I was online shopping at Urban Outfitters for clothes for Christmas, the arrival date wasn’t until Feb. 30 for some of the items I wanted,” Elise Chapman (’23) said. 

Due to the extreme unemployment rate that the pandemic has caused, there is a lack of warehouse workers and delivery drivers. These jobs are crucial to keeping things running smoothly throughout the process of delivering, exporting and importing goods. With the record number of 490,000 job openings in warehouses, according to the Labor Department, there are simply not enough workers to keep the operations organized. 

The slow delivery of goods is causing panic buying; people are buying an excess amount of goods to compensate for the slow process. This is causing even more disturbance in the supply chain. But economists around the world say that this behavior is very predictable and just another thing the economy will have to deal with before it returns to normalcy. 

One popular product that is rarely available is turkey. The meat industry has been struggling since the beginning of the pandemic, and with the decrease of employment throughout the industry comes a shortage of production. 

The other day, I walked up a hill to my local grocery store,” Anna Russel, a writer for the New Yorker, said. “No turkey. The butcher told me to come back in the ten days before Christmas.” 

Holiday shoppers are also seeing shortages in clothing, technology and toys. This means a prolonged delivery time, which creates the chance that items will not arrive in time for the holidays, ensuing worry in many people across the country. 

Not just holiday buyers are being affected by the shortages of the supply chain. In Denver, students don’t have milk in their school lunches anymore, in Chicago, there is a huge lack of canned goods, and in Boston shoppers are running out of pasta.

The staggering unemployment rates caused by the pandemic are having an extreme impact on the supply chain. Although it was not acutely evident before, with holiday shopping and the mass amount of demand for goods, the shortage will reveal itself to be even more serious than what people think. 

“Just about anything that is produced or manufactured — from chemicals to electronics to running shoes [are running short],” Peter Goodman, a journalist from the New York Times said. “Shortages beget more shortages.”