Christmas is only 161 days away. That's only 23 more Saturdays until the biggest gift giving holiday in the world. While, you may think to yourself that's plenty of time to shop...let me explain why it isn't.
To begin this story, I need to take you back to a dark time in our history. The year 2020. Everything was shut down. Manufacturing businesses that weren't shut down began producing PPE. And they were reduced to half the number of employees (at best). But there'd been stock. Stores could get supplies. Things were still moving in the commerce stream.
But now, in the year 2021, all of that has caught up to us. If you've been in any store, you've likely noticed empty shelves. Your favorite products sold out. You think to yourself (yes...you are a very intelligent and thoughtful person who thinks to yourself very often)..but the US is mostly open. There shouldn't be issues anymore.
Unfortunately cargo ships are backed up bringing products to the US. So all that stuff from China that you see, it's stuck in China waiting to come over, in the middle of the ocean waiting to get to the US or at customs trying to get into the country.
I try to buy American as often as possible for my shop. But even my US suppliers are hurting. My shop is one of hundreds or even thousands trying to get products in. Take for example one of my best selling items: handwarmer mugs. I can't keep these on my shelf in my shop. Normally that is a good problem for me to have and the company I order from (who hand makes everything and is one of my FAVORITE suppliers) is pretty fast with turnaround. But this year...they've been on a 3-4 month turn around time because they're having a hard time getting supplies in and catching up on back orders. And, while I still have plenty of the mugs on my shelf I was told me reorder of mugs won't be ready until early 2022. That means...if you wanted to get a handwarmer mug for that special person in your life, once the 25 or so that I have are gone, I won't get any in before Christmas 2021. Or Hanukkah 2021. Or Winter Solstice 2021. Or...you see where I'm going with this.
And that is just one of my suppliers. Many of them are in the same boat and running way behind.
So my advice, whether you're shopping at my store or any other around the country...if you see something you like, don't wait on it. Grab it and save it. Maybe it's overly cautious, but based on what I'm seeing, I'd rather be safely cautious with gifts tucked away for a few months than giving my loved ones whatever I can find.