Analyst: Supply chain snafus won’t make a big difference this Christmas

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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Stuck trucks won't be the reason that consumers are shopping earlier, says a consumer analyst. (Photo via Getty Images)

A customer engagement expert who’s tracked holiday shopping patterns for more than 30 years holds that a discombobulated distribution system will have little effect on how people shop in the coming weeks.

“We’re seeing numbers going up for early shopping because people are really shifting to early holiday shopping, and they started a long time ago,” said Robert Passikoff, the president of Brand Keys. “I looked at numbers we compiled going back a decade and the increase in early shopping in 2021 is just one percent above 2011.”

Passikoff admits that shoppers may have to get out early to snare hot holiday gifts, but that it’s something they’ve already been doing for years. A study done by Brand Keys in 2019 learned that 51% of U.S. consumers began their Christmas shopping before Black Friday.

“Black Friday was a meaningful day in terms of being able to get things cheaper than they were the rest of the year. Most people had a day off and they’d go shopping, and for many it became an annual tradition -- more of a familial or personal event rather than a retail event,” Passikoff said. “Now people can go online and learn a lot and find a lot of bargains.”

A Brand Keys consumer study found that 9% of Americans went holiday shopping in September, a two-percentage-point increase over 2019, and 18% shopped in October, a seven-point rise.