According to Burt Flickinger, product shortages are going to be as bad as when the COVID-19 pandemic started, as reported on Fox Business. Flickinger made this prediction after Costco warned its customers it is having trouble fulfilling toilet paper orders in the week of September 20, 2021. But the shortages won’t stop at toilet paper.
Expect Major Product Shortages
From chicken shortages to toilet paper and computer chips for cars, shortages are affecting businesses large and small. And for small retailers, it means having to pay more for their inventory. Forbes is reporting there are still bottlenecks in the supply chain which is exacerbated by a shortage of shipping container problems and the added cost they now demand. The report goes on to say this alone is causing a doubling or tripling in shipping costs.
The shortages also come just as the holiday shopping season is about to begin. As Naveen Jaggi, president of retail advisory service JLL, told Forbes, “The biggest challenge for U.S. consumers will be that demand will outstrip supply.” Adding, “Consumers will need to pull forward holiday shopping rather than wait till Thanksgiving and after.”
Add the Delta variant to the mix and the impact of the pandemic will continue to affect consumers and businesses this holiday shopping season. This includes small businesses that are still struggling through this ordeal.
Small Business and Supply Shortages
According to the 2021 Business Barometer report from Oregon-based Umpqua Bank, small businesses are facing widespread supply chain problems. The 1,200 business leaders in the survey stated supply chain tops their list of concerns moving forward.
A whopping 88% of the respondents said they had difficulty sourcing goods in the past 12 months. And the most common supply chain problems they faced are purchasing the goods they need in a timely manner to run their business, longer delays receiving goods, and an increase in the price of goods.
The report states businesses, small or large, are making major strategic adjustments with significant changes to multiple areas. This includes supply chains, staffing models, company culture and vision, brick-and-mortar operations, and products and services. And moving forward they expect to keep these changes.
However, it is not all bad news. Fifty-two percent of small businesses expect the economic condition to improve and another 53% say their revenue will increase. And as the conditions brought on by the pandemic die down, supply chains will start flowing to normalize the marketplace.