EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – The start of November usually means the start of the holiday shopping season, but this year is the time to get your gifts crossed off your list ahead of time.
With less than 50 days until Christmas Day, some may think that’s plenty of time, but store owners say this is the year to shop early.
Supply chain issues are causing shipping delays that could leave customers without gifts they have been wishing for.
Mary Allen, owner of Sixth and Zero in Evansville, was helping shoppers during the Holiday Open House on Main Street this weekend. This event is a way for the downtown area to kick off the holiday shopping season.
“More people came out this weekend than I had anticipated, which is wonderful,” Allen said.
Shop owners like Allen are encouraging early shopping this year, as shipping delays and supply chain shortages are making it harder for companies to get items from the factory to the store shelves.
“So we’ve been trying to order earlier, and telling our customers that we may not be able to custom order in as quickly, so letting people know if we run out of something, we may not be able to get it back in time,” Allen said.
Companies like Best Buy and Amazon are announcing sales and sending out email blasts weeks before Black Friday. Especially for electronics, which is one of the industries hit hardest by shortages.
Posh on Main in Evansville has merchandise from 45 different local vendors, all of whom could experience their own delays.
“I am using a lot of local vendors, so I don’t have the normal problems, but they may have problems getting their things,” Vicki Bohleber, owner of Posh on Main said. “So absolutely, shopping early is always a good thing.”
Store owners say that aside from shopping early, the best thing people can do is shop locally.
“When you support my small business, you’re supporting 45 businesses that are smaller than me that don’t have brick and mortar stores,” Bohleber said.
“We, of course, always support and hope people would also support shopping local knowing the impact of their dollar stays, for the majority within the community, and knowing you’re supporting people’s livelihoods and families, and people working in the store that are building it and growing it,” Allen said.
Getting ahead of their shopping can also help if they are shipping gifts to loved ones.
By ordering or buying earlier, store owners say customers are more likely to get their gifts where they need to be, simply by being mindful of shipping delays, even if they are shipping gifts themselves.
Financial experts say inflation could make their gift list more expensive this year. They advise on putting together a budget and sticking to it.
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