Air fryers and big appliances are mainstays of Black Friday sales. But in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, they may be harder to find this holiday season.
The demand for items ranging from laptops to freezers has surged during the global health crisis that has largely shifted work, school and other aspects of daily life to Americans’ homes. And that’s led at times to overwhelmed supply chains and empty shelves.
So if you come across that gadget you’ve been searching for, you might want to buy it now to make sure you’ll have it in time to tuck under the tree, experts say.
“If you find it, it’s probably the right time to go ahead and get it because … there will be a little more scarcity than we’ve seen in the past,” says Rod Sides of Deloitte.
It’s not unusual for some products to be hard to find during the holiday season, when shoppers are clamoring for gifts and deals. But “during a holiday that’s impacted by COVID, there may be even more” shortages, says Karl Haller, Consumer Center of Competency leader and retail industry expert for IBM Global Business Services.
Some retail experts are optimistic that goods will be widely available.
Kinks in the supply chain have been largely worked out, says Jonathan Gold of the National Retail Federation, saying he expects retailers will be well stocked