Consumers Predicted To Holiday Shop At Thrift Stores Amid Inflation, Supply Chain Worries
Presents Under the Christmas Tree
DNY59 via Getty Images

As high inflation and supply chain bottlenecks continue to plague the United States economy, one report suggests that a sizable portion of consumers will holiday shop with these phenomena in mind.

According to ThredUp’s survey of 2,000 American adults over the age of eighteen, 52% of consumers are worried that “popular gifts will be more expensive this year.” Meanwhile, 53% plan to “adjust their holiday shopping to account for shipping delays,” while one in three believe “limited inventory will make it difficult to find gifts.”

The report says that Americans plan to thrift items like Converse sneakers, LuLulemon track jackets, Patagonia fleeces, and Ugg boots. Overall, 49% of consumers plan to use thrift stores and consignment shops.

Indeed, the supply chain crisis and other challenges facing the American economy are likely to make for a tumultuous holiday season. A report from CNBC’s Amanda Macias reveals that executives involved in the process of importing and wholesaling Christmas trees forecast low tree availability and high consumer demand.

“The demand this year is going to be extremely strong and so I think from a consumer perspective people definitely shouldn’t wait,” National Tree Company CEO Chris Butler told the outlet. “Consumers should buy now because by the time we get to Thanksgiving, which is a peak week for us, I think there’s going to be a lot of empty shelves. We’re seeing pretty strong growth right now already versus last year and so, I do think that we’re in for a big, big season this year.”

“Since May, due to backups from Covid-19, it’s been a real struggle to just get containers,” Butler added. “Last year we paid $2,000 to $3,000 for containers and this year we’re paying in the region of $20,000. We decided that we would pay the exorbitant rates that were being charged to make sure we got as many containers as we could.”

“If you see something you like, buy it,” American Christmas Tree Association executive director Jami Warner said. “The quantities this year will be fewer than usual and of course the consumer will have to take the brunt of higher prices. They won’t be hugely higher but they will be higher.”

White House officials have argued that supply chain bottlenecks are attributable to the “historic economic recovery” produced by President Biden.

“So, if this is an issue that the White House has been working on and aware of since February, why does it seem like this is a problem that is getting worse, not better?” one reporter asked White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the supply chain.

“I would say this: When it comes to the supply chain … there are complexities there when you think about, you know, the — when we learn about the global supply chain as well — right? Those are — so that’s one thing that you kind of have to put it in the — in the bigger picture,” Jean-Pierre claimed. “There are port directors, terminal operators, ocean carriers, railroad, truckers … warehouses, and retailers, and let’s not forget consumers who have a record level of demand as we have made a historic economic recovery.”

“… [T]he economic forecasters … did not think we would be where we are today; we have surpassed that,” she claimed. “So, we have had some historic economic recovery.”

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