Navigating supply chain challenges

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Due to the ongoing supply chain crisis, there are plenty of complications this holiday season and many companies are already feeling the effects. Everything reported about delays is true and little will be solved by the December holidays.

Cindy Fox“Shipping problems are real, labor shortages make it more difficult to find services and many items simply won’t be available,” said Cindy Fox, a marketing and retail expert and lecturer in the Marketing Department of the Belk College of Business. “The basic rule of supply and demand means that prices will be higher on the most popular items. Some retailers are contracting companies to ship their goods which should help, but this year especially, you need a solid plan.”

Fox recommends:

Start Early

Black Friday deals are happening early this year, especially online. Stay informed about updates on gifts you’re eyeing. Product deliveries may come in and be gone quickly. Plus with demand high, retailers could be offering less sales. Do your research now!

Be Flexible

You may need to adjust your thinking on the perfect gift. That may mean settling for a different product model and color, or re-thinking a gift entirely. Consider gift certificates and vouchers, or a fun card to supplement the later arrival of a gift. Also, higher prices may mean making choices between items.

Consider Subscriptions

Subscription services have been skyrocketing the last few years. Wal-Mart, Best Buy and other companies are providing subscription services similar to Amazon Prime where subscribers receive first choice on incoming goods.

Buy Local

Many small businesses are struggling. Consider smaller independent shops and local restaurants throughout the Charlotte region — especially those owned or managed by UNC Charlotte alumni! Check out some of our alumni-owned businesses.

Provide Experiences

Consider a day at the Whitewater Center, Charlotte Symphony tickets, a Biltmore Estate adventure, tickets to our UNC Charlotte sporting events or cultural offerings — there are plenty of options for spending quality time out of your house with others.

Enjoy the Moment

Many people are having their first holiday with family and friends in quite some time. Relax and enjoy just being together knowing that time with your loved ones is the best present you can receive!

Cindy Fox is a marketing and retail expert and lecturer in the Marketing Department of the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte.