Labor Day sales slow as supply shortage is felt worldwide

Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 1:59 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Consumers may find fewer sales at their favorite stores this Labor Day weekend.

Experts said it all boils down to a low supply. They predict this could last through the 2021 holiday shopping season.

Steve McClain, with the Kentucky Retail Federation, said supply issues are happening worldwide.

“This is the beginning of a trend we’re expecting throughout the holiday season that, unofficially, has started earlier and earlier,” he said.

It’s all related to the pandemic, but this year is different than last.

“People were buying 10 of everything. It really wasn’t that there was a supply issue. It’s just that they were buying faster than the manufacturer could put out,” McClain said.

He said the current problems are brought on by clogged shipping ports and a worker shortage.

“A lot of those truck drivers have retired or found some other field to go into,” McClain said.

He said that means shelves could be looking sparse in early September.

“Appliances, which is typically a big thing that is sold over Labor Day, that has been a struggle, not only getting transportation, but there’s a computer chip shortage of getting the computer chips in from China, so there’s been a backlog of orders they’re still trying to work their way through,” McClain said.

He said shoppers can still count on holiday bargains, but inventory in 2021 may be different than before.

“If you see something you think you may want to give someone for Christmas, go ahead and get it now because you don’t know when it might be available again,” McClain said.

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