Shipping and shopping: How the correlation between the two is impacting Christmas this year

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Alyse Zuiderveen

Many mailboxes across the country remain empty as they await delayed packages.

Alyse Zuiderveen, Copy Editor

As Thanksgiving approaches, shoppers begin to brace themselves to eat a hearty meal and rush out to shop deals at the midnight Black Friday doorbusters. However, as stores prepare to return to Christmas shopping following a year off, it appears that this shopping may be altered in efforts to compensate for the changes COVID-19 has brought.

While stores are publicly focusing on crowd size management, it is important to acknowledge the many other ways Black Friday and activities related to holiday shopping will be impacted as a result of the shipping delays that have been plaguing Americans. 

In the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, over 100,000 containers are waiting on ships, causing nationwide shipping delays. Unfortunately, these two ports are not the only ones experiencing delays that have affected shopping across the country. 

As the number of containers waiting remains large, it is important to evaluate the ramifications this waiting will have on stores across the nation.

Senior Kennedy Brady works at Starbucks, where holiday merchandise sold out shortly after its release. Starbucks is one of the many chains currently experiencing issues as a result of shipping delays.

While the Bettendorf Starbucks location Brady works at sold out of their products soon after supplying them, Brady is thankful they could even get the materials. “Some stores didn’t get the actual merchandise due to the distribution shortages we’ve been experiencing,” she shared. While all stores have received the syrups to make popular holiday drinks like the Peppermint Mocha, holiday merchandise such as cups are not always distributed to the stores. 

Brady also acknowledged that many customers buy Christmas gifts at Starbucks and shipping delays may have an impact on Christmas shopping. In her opinion, these delays “could limit the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts, but unfortunately the distribution isn’t something Starbucks can control.”

While it is not uncommon for popular chains like Starbucks to experience shortages or sell out of products in short periods of time, these shipping delays have significantly impacted small businesses that are dependent on the products stuck in ports. 

Tammy Danielson is the owner of Bela, a small business in LeClaire. She has experienced problems with shipping and found that many customers are shopping for Christmas early, often as a result of growing fears that Christmas shopping will be negatively impacted by the delays. 

While Danielson’s business has not been significantly impacted by the shipping delays due to the fact that she placed her orders early, she is paying attention to the delays as they will likely impact her in the near future. “The shipping delays just make me more nervous about what’s coming than what’s actually happening right now. I am concerned [about] what will happen in the future with shipping if things don’t change,” she shared.

As shipping delays bring the uncertainty of the future of Christmas shopping to light, it is important to be intentional to shop early, plan ahead and stay aware of the latest news regarding shipping and ordering.