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Holiday Shoppers Already Unable to Find Wanted Items Amid Supply Chain Crisis

by Ailan Evans

Holiday shopping

Over half of Americans shopping for the holiday season say they’re experiencing difficulties buying products, according to a new poll.

When asked if they had experienced any holiday shopping issues, 51% of U.S. adults said an item they wanted was out of stock in stores, while 54% said an item they wanted was out of stock online, according to the results of a Morning Consult poll released Friday. Younger Americans reported more difficulties than older Americans, with 70% of Gen Z and Millennials reporting items out of stock, compared to 36% of Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Similarly, 49% of U.S. adults said an item they had already ordered was back-ordered or delayed. Younger Americans again reported more difficulties, with 65% reporting product delays compared to 37% of older U.S. adults.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 3 and sampled 686 U.S. adults who said they have started their holiday shopping. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

The results of the poll coincide with a series of supply chain disruptions in various sectors across the U.S. economy. In the shipping and logistics industries, ports and truck yards have seen bottlenecks due to labor shortages and increased consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The costs of these disruptions have hit both consumers and producers hard, with wholesale inflation increasing by a record 8.6% year over year in September 2021. The consumer price index, which measures the relative price of a basket of goods, increased 5.4% year over year in September as well.

Disruptions have affected certain industries more than others, with semiconductors, used in consumer electronics like smartphones and laptops, experiencing massive shortages.

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