Out-of-Stock Items Surge 172% — Is it Too Late to Shop For the Holidays?

Christmas sales.
Svetlana-Cherruty / Getty Images/iStockphoto

It might be too late to purchase some in-demand items online for the holidays. Out-of-stock items are up 172% from Jan. 2020, according to Adobe’s annual holiday shopping forecast, per Business Insider. This number is three times the average percentage and is also up 360% since Jan. 2019.

See: Supply Chain Issues Make Now an Ideal Time To Start Your 2021 Holiday ShoppingFind: 10 Stocks To Buy Before the Holiday Season

Shoppers may find that clothing is the hardest to find online, as this category surpasses 17 others with the most out-of-stock warnings, noted Insider. Clothing is followed by sporting goods, baby products, electronics and pet products.

A new Oracle Retail consumer research study found that 52% of Americans already started their holiday shopping or plan to shop earlier than usual and 20% plan to order more gifts in case some items are delayed or canceled. Seventy-two percent of respondents also indicated that they’ll do their holiday shopping online, up from 64% last year.

“As we see in the news, the supply chain challenges are a global reality. Regardless, consumers will still measure retailers on their ability to deliver on their wish lists this holiday season,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president, and general manager, Oracle Retail.

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The holiday season is a pivotal time for consumer spending when Americans typically spend hundreds of billions of dollars. Consumer spending is key to the economic rebound and counts for about 70% of economic activity, according to Insider.

However, greater levels of spending also push up inflation. Price growth is at decade-high levels, noted Insider, and demand will continue to overwhelm supply. Adobe also added that shoppers will pay 9% more during Cyber Week compared to the same time last year and markdowns will range from 5% to 25% over the holidays instead of the typical 10% to 30% range, Insider reported.

See: Costco’s Holiday Hours for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2021Find: Top Holiday Toys, Gadgets and More To Shop Now — And What They’ll Cost You

Despite this outlook, the global supply chain is expected to show improvement by the second half of 2022, Jefferies economists said in a recent note.

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