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Holiday Season Worries Continue As Supply Chain Problems Worsen

Suppliers and retailers in the United States are struggling to stock their inventory before the holiday season at the end of the year begins. Global supply chain problems have escalated in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic attempting to work through the surge in consumer demand. Businesses have struggled all year with these supply chain bottlenecks, and the Delta variant has hindered any effort to iron out these issues.

Earlier holidays already confirmed that the supply chain problems would be difficult to work through. For example, the Fourth of July resulted in many businesses not having the large inventory they’d normally have. An increase in firework and shipment prices, thanks to these supply chain issues, also occurred. 

Toys are expected to be at an all-time high once the holiday season hits this year. According to previous yearly data, the holiday season makes up a large chunk of toy sales, which annually reach about $33 billion. To attempt to get ahead of the mass demand expected later this month, retailers are trying to ship items on air, land, and sea sooner rather than later. 

Already, many analysts are warning consumers that this holiday season may have a lower stock of toys and items this year because of the massive global supply chain issues. Retailers and suppliers in the United States have attempted to deal with these problems this year, though stocks have continued to not be filled as expected.

For example, this latest back-to-school season did incredibly well for retailers such as Walmart and Target. However, even though their sales exceeded expectations, these retail giants still suffered from stock issues because of global supply chain bottlenecks. Analysts revealed that many different retail stores suffered from small amounts of season items, such as Halloween costumes and decor, as well as backpacks and school items. 

Christmas and the holiday season are massive for toymakers and retailers alike. Toy demand has been high almost all year, resulting in huge consumer demand but a low supply for retailers. During just the first seven months of this year, the number of imports of toys and games averaged about $1.88 billion per month. This is about 50% higher than what was seen in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

All year, therefore, toy and game demand has been high. This has kept many retailers from being able to successfully fill and stay on top of their inventory. Supply chain bottlenecks haven’t allowed many retailers to restock their inventory to meet this high consumer demand. As the end of the year holiday season tends to be the largest time of the year for toy demand, retailers are already scrambling to stock their inventory.

Many large retail corporations, such as Walmart and Target, have already hired their own ships to try to build up their mas inventory for the holiday season. Some toymakers have already dealt with new issues because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though. Mattel Inc, a huge toymaker, recently revealed that they had to temporarily shut down ports and plants because of shipping container shortages. Therefore, there are many different problems encompassing the global supply chain issue. 

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