“Goods that we would like to be selling may not arrive in time and also the quantity we would like to have to allow us to reduce the prices may also be impacted,” London Drugs Clint Mahlman president and COO told Consumer Matters.
Given the unprecedented times, Mahlman says planning for one of the biggest retail events of the year is challenging, especially when it comes to advertising. “Pricing will have to come at the last minute when we are certain of the quantities that we have,” Mahlman said.
“We are going to have some great deals and we are going to have a lot of inventory, but it may not be in the things we planned or predicted for.”
Labour shortages, traffic jams, and pandemic-related factory shutdowns are all contributing to the supply chain nightmare. Making matters worse is the semiconductor chip shortage.
Some industry experts say for consumers shopping for electronics this Black Friday, don’t wait for the price to drop. “My advice for consumers who want anything tech-related is buy it now,” said GetConnected Media’s Mike Agerbo.
Many major retailers are already offering in-store discounts in an effort to get consumers to shop early and avoid disappointment.
Still, given the short supply of many items, price drops may not be as deep compared to previous years.
“Containers right now that have product shipped over from Asia have gone up four to five times in costs so again that’s going to be passed on to consumers and that’s if you can even get the product because it will likely be sold out,” Agerbo said.
The director of Redflagdeals.com, a Canadian deals and shopping information website, says while some retailers will have exciting promotions, deals may be more conservative in nature. “I don’t think we can count on the retailers being aggressive with pricing this year. I think there’s just not enough stock to really put that into play,” said Kate Musgrove.
Musgrove says there are some exciting products coming out this November, but if consumers are looking for a big-ticket video game, for example, or even a new TV, you might have trouble finding it.
“The hottest items are the PS5 and the Xbox video game console. They were the hot item last holiday season as well and they are, if anything, harder to find this holiday season,” Musgrove added.
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