8 products that are hard to find
If you’re looking to buy new books, stock up on high-end tequila, or put a turkey on your table for dinner, you might find empty shelves or restrictions on purchases for the foreseeable future.
Household items – from consumer electronics (to liquor) to Halloween decorations and Christmas trees – are the latest victims of global supply chain disruptions that have created widespread product shortages as shoppers Americans are heading into the holiday season.
Coronavirus-related closures continue to affect factories in Asia, and a shortage of truck drivers and warehouse workers in the United States has created massive shipping and production delays for many consumer products.
âEverywhere I look, I see shortages, not of inventory, but of the equipment and people needed to make it work better,â says David Marcotte, international trade expert at Kantar Consulting, a research firm. Marlet.
Christopher Motasky, 53, of Shelton, Connecticut, helps manage shipping logistics for supply management company Pixior Global. Motasky says distribution networks are struggling to keep up with the growing demand. âThe sheer volume of what we’re bringing has grown to a number we haven’t been able to keep up with,â he says.
Here’s a look at some of the items that might be hard to find in the coming months:
1. Halloween products
Supply chain chaos created a spooky October among retailers selling Halloween products. Sweets, decorations, costumes and pumpkins were all affected by transport delays.
Experts say the backlog of container ships off major U.S. ports has been particularly damaging to the Halloween industry, which largely relies on imports to supply stores. Additionally, a shortage of truck drivers in the United States has made it difficult for local stores to receive new merchandise in time for the holidays.
The drop in supply comes at an inopportune time. The Financial Time reported that Halloween-related sales are expected to increase 16% this year, to a record $ 10.1 billion.
Liquor store sales soared at the start of the pandemic when restaurants and bars were forced to close. The sharp increase in demand for alcoholic beverages persisted, causing supply problems in several states.
Pennsylvania state officials announced in September that the state liquor board would begin to impose a daily limit of two bottles per customer on certain alcoholic beverages. Virginia has also imposed state-imposed shopping restrictions, and stores in New Jersey, Ohio and elsewhere have reported shortages.
The production of whiskey, tequila and other popular spirits is a process that can take anywhere from five to 30 years, which has made it difficult for producers to increase supply.
âWe are in a difficult position with an unforeseen increase in demand because we simply cannot increase production. These decisions are made years in advance, âsays David Ozgo, chief economist of the Distilled Spirits Council in the United States.
Most liquor stores still have plenty of stock, but it can be difficult to find luxury and premium spirits due to shortages, according to Ozgo.
3. Christmas trees
Extreme weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest have created a shortage of Christmas trees. Severe summer droughts in Oregon and Washington state have burnt down many Christmas tree farms that are struggling to recover as the winter months approach.
Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, says despite the supply issues, buyers who start looking for a tree early won’t face any problems. âThe majority of American consumers will be able to find a Christmas tree for their home this year. But to find the one that perfectly matches their tradition, their vision and their budget, they will have to find it and buy it early, âsays Warner.
4. Consumer electronics
The global chip shortage continues to create problems for big tech companies, including Apple and Samsung. Manufacturers stopped producing semiconductor chips at the start of the pandemic, and supply levels have not caught up with growing demand.
In addition to the COVID -19 outbreaks that have closed some factories in Asia, a typhoon in the western Pacific and emission restrictions imposed by the Chinese government have limited the production capacity of the world’s largest tech makers.