ST. LOUIS – This year, the season of giving may also be the season of shortages. From supplies stuck on cargo ships to a shortage of workers, FOX2 and KMOX team up to take a look at how small businesses are making sure they have what you need this holiday season.
Getting back to business hasn’t been easy for anybody. Companies and consumers are still navigating a changing landscape. Pandemic problems persist, whether it’s workers or widgets, the shortages are real and solutions aren’t always realistic.
“What happened overseas is containers just ended up in the wrong place. This is really a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon because we stopped ordering them or we put a stop to the orders, they had to go someplace. They ended up in the wrong place. This is still being sorted out today,” said Mitch Millstein, a University of Missouri-St. Louis professor.
Shipping and shortages at ports continue to be a problem. Millstein said he spoke to the president of a manufacturing firm in St Louis and its No. 1 problem is getting materials from other parts of the globe, as well as a labor shortage.
“That material shortage is due to the labor shortage,” Millstein said. “We’re seeing this all over the world due to the pandemic.”
For consumers, Millstein said they may not get everything on their shopping list.
“It’s not zero. We’re not going to get nothing; we’re just not going to get everything that we wanted as fast as we wanted,” he said.
However, retailers are optimistic, according to Robb Karr, president, and CEO, of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
“I would say our stores are stocked and they’re ready to receive customers, and they’ve already begun doing so,” he said.
On the contrary to Millstein’s prediction, Karr said consumers may be able to get everything on their list if they started shopping early.
“If you haven’t already started, you’re probably already a little late,” he said. “I think you’ll get everything. You may not get it exactly when you wanted it, but start now,” he said.