25/04/2024 11:21 AM

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Why you should start your holiday grocery shopping earlier this year

FORT MYERS, Fla. / GMA — As grocery chains continue to struggle with supply chain issues, increased consumer demand, and everchanging prices on products, retailers are stocking up early ahead of the busy season.

Although Thanksgiving is still two months out, companies have planned on bringing in certain items earlier in hopes that people stock up early and prevent potential shortages.

New York-based supermarket chain Tops Friendly Markets had its order for turkeys placed before Americans even rang in 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We locked down turkeys in the second, third week of February,” senior vice president of merchandising for Tops, Jeff Culhane, said.

Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Federation told “Good Morning America” that other retail executives have acted accordingly in order to receive all their must-have holiday items from suppliers in time.

“The supply chain has been stretched from end to end throughout the pandemic, and it’s becoming even more evident now as we’re seeing demand outpace supply — for pretty much everything,” Gold said.

Retail has seen shortages in everything from finished goods to the containers they’re shipped in, as well as a lack of labor workforce — those factors encouraged stores to bring in peak holiday items ahead of schedule.

“They’re planning ahead and looking at potentially earlier sales and promotions than normal. Now the challenge is educating consumers about the challenges out there,” Gold said.

Jim Dudlicek, director of communications for the National Grocers Association, said that although there’s plenty of food in the supply chain, “certain items may be harder to get at certain times.”

“Shopping early for the holidays is a wise strategy, especially under current conditions,” he said. “Consumers should secure those must-haves in a timely fashion to ensure favorites for the holiday table, but be mindful of their neighbors and limit their quantities to only what they need.”

Dudlicek also suggested that people reach out to local and independent community grocers with questions about specific holiday needs and availability.

Just like last year, Gold said the trend for consumers “to shop early and shop safe will be critical this holiday season.”