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Supply chain issues still making Christmas gift availability uncertain

AMES — Supply chain experts are encouraging you to start your holiday shopping now as the hurdles brought on by the pandemic will be similar to last year, with some new challenges.

The chair of Iowa State University’s department of supply chain management, Scott Grawe, says there will likely be products not available in stores or online because of slow shipping times combined with a labor shortage.

“The supply chain is still trying to get itself back into balance. And it’s not yet balanced, which means for a lot of different products, you’re going to find either empty shelves or shelves that are not replenished quite as you might like, which is certainly going to create some issues when it comes to holiday shopping,” Grawe says.

He says you should consider all the shopping alternatives. “While you may not get the exact thing that you’re looking for, there may be a perfectly good substitute out there as well,” Grawe says. “So as you’re thinking about your holiday shopping plans, you may want to have a plan B and plan C available as well.”

Grawe predicts the old standby of gift certificates may be a popular, and more reliable, present choice this year.


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