Small businesses gear up for the holidays amid nationwide shortages, shipping delays

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – The Grinch of Christmas this year might be inventory and toy shortages, so many people say they have already started their holiday shopping to make sure what they need isn’t out of stock.

“I was a little bit concerned so I did buy some on amazon but I love Webster Groves so we are also going to shop locally,” Connie Jones said.

The owners of Story Seven, a home decor boutique in Webster Groves have already turned their store into a Winter Wonderland and have had a lot of customers shopping for Christmas gifts.

“We have done a lot of gift-wrapping already,” said Sarah Jozwiakowski, one of the owners of Story Seven.

If you feel that shopping is being done earlier than usual this year, you’re not alone.

“We honestly started wrapping for Christmas probably in July, so people really are ahead,” said Karen Drexler, one of the owners of Story Seven.

There She Goes, a boutique off Manchester Road, that also has an online boutique said if you see it in a store, buy it now

There she goes – a Rock Hill and online boutique – says they are aware of shortages but hope not to be impacted. 

“I encourage people to buy it when they see it because I may not get a lot of quantity of a certain style or item and it will sell out and it’s hard to restock at this point with supplies and being able to ship things,” Sheila Stewart, the owner of There She Goes. 

“In regards to our inventory, we really planned ahead this year expecting that we might not get some of the items, we are fully stocked and ready to go for our shoppers, so we aren’t worried about that,” Drexler, of Story Seven, said.

Both stores said they planned ahead of time and encourage people to shop local this holiday season. Stewart said being a local store they have more flexibility on where they source their items from and aren’t stuck to certain ones like big box stores.

“If you’re buying online, I would encourage people to shop a little bit earlier if you want things to be shipped, I’m not really sure I’m talking to ups people and they say there’s a shortage on staffing and getting things delivered so we may have a little more delay than normal,” Stewart said.

The United States Postal Service announced shipping deadlines for the holidays.

They are as follows: 

Domestic Mail Class/ProductDate (excluding Alaska & Hawaii)
USPS Retail Ground® ServiceDec. 15
First-Class Mail® ServiceDec. 17
Priority Mail® ServiceDec. 18
Priority Mail Express® Service2Dec. 23

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