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Shortages could cause holiday shopping issues

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 12:46 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It may seem premature to start worrying about Christmas shopping, but the Kentucky Retail Federation believes the earlier people begin, the better off they will be.

Time, on the other hand, has not been kind to retailers. Supply and employee shortages are a less-than-pleasant trend affecting the holiday gift-giving season, Steve McClain at the Kentucky Retail Federation said.

Local businesses are months behind schedule in receiving product shipments. It has only gotten worse, according to McClain, and it all starts with a lack of people to move the cargo.

”It’s kind of been a snowball effect over the last few months,” McClain said. “The ports — Long Beach, L.A., New Orleans — they’ve got containers just stacked up on top of each other. There’s a shortage on truck drivers.”

While Santa is checking the naughty or nice list, managers at Work The Metal, a Louisville boutique with clothing and houseware, are tallying up the products they have and what the store needs.

Work the Metal co-owner Jack Mathis said it’s hard to believe it’s time to put up the Christmas tree and stock the shelves.

”It’s kind of been a snowball effect over the last few months,” McClain said. “The ports — Long Beach, L.A., New Orleans — they’ve got containers just stacked up on top of each other. There’s a shortage on truck drivers.”

Mathis encourages people to consider their local shops and to support local businesses as they may struggle during the holiday season.

”Now, more than ever, shop local,” he said. “Help these smaller stores so they can be part of your community. That’s what makes the community more interesting, it’s having the small shops.”

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