Christmas Might Be Sold Out. Start Shopping Now for Corporate Holiday Gifts.

Christmas Might Be Sold Out. Start Shopping Now for Corporate Holiday Gifts.

Santa can pull off miracles during the holidays, but many suppliers are looking like they’re going to come up short this year. If your company hasn’t already started placing orders for 2021 holiday gifts for your clients and employees, you might wind up getting left out in the cold.

Getting proactive about the holidays now might save your company a stocking full of trouble later this season. Inventory shortages and delays are already being reported by major specialty item providers.


Long Wait Times.

Producers of specialty items are still experiencing inventory disruptions among their vendors worldwide. Many of these firms are reporting massive delays in order fulfillment.

“We recently had an order for 500 branded hoodies for a corporate client of ours,” one print shop owner commented, wishing to remain anonymous. “It took my staff the better part of three days to pin down a vendor that could supply that many, even though that’s a relatively normal sized order. Even then, our vendor informed us there would be a six-week wait on the items. Then another two weeks for our printing turnaround and shipment. So, an eight-plus week wait for the client at minimum.”

With fulfillment times such as those being reported by many specialty item providers, it’s imperative for companies to get their orders in as soon as possible to stay on schedule with their holiday gifts.


The Cause? Supply Snowballing.

Snowballing supply issues are the crux of this problem. When things were shut down, demand spiked. Then as the world reopened and production resumed, demand shifted. Now, there is an intense backlog on the shipping of almost any kind of item.

As one would imagine, the bottlenecks occurring throughout supply networks are creating a blizzard of cost increases too. For specialty items, this is manifesting in several different ways – from raw material cost increases, to transportation, and even across currency exchange rates.

As described by Sweda, a California-based wholesale promotional products company, in materials released this summer:

  • The cost of shipping goods across the ocean has increased 290% compared to 2020.
  • Driven by supply and demand, prices on raw materials like cotton and polyester have risen nearly 30%.
  • Due to material shortages, drinkware materials like plastics have doubled in price and stainless steel has risen by 20%.
  • Additionally, the U.S. dollar has weakened against other global currencies like the Chinese Yuan since the pandemic began, which impacts pricing.


The Outlook.

Most forecasts about our current global supply chain predicament don’t indicate relief for some time. Possibly throughout much of next year.

In a letter to customers, Dan Pantano, president and CEO of wholesale apparel company alphabroder, described a bit about what his people are observing.

“The latest information we are receiving from our manufacturer partners is that they do not anticipate any meaningful improvement with the ongoing supply chain issues until at least mid-2022. In addition, costs continue to increase on many levels as the global supply chain and labor market adjusts to keep things moving,” Pantano wrote.

That perspective was also supported in a CNN Business Perspectives op-ed by Thomas Harman, founder and CEO of Balsam Hill, a retailer of home decor products including holiday items.

“Many supply chain professionals we speak with do not expect the crisis to subside until mid-to-late 2022,” Harman wrote.


Shop Now or Miss Out.

The bottom of the snow pile here is that any company with plans for 2021 corporate holiday gifts for clients or employees for this season need to act now if they want to receive their order on time. With the number of delays already happening, it would not be advisable to procrastinate. Make sure your business contacts have something delightful to receive this holiday season by acting now and placing your orders.

Category Features, Finance