With retailers facing supply chain issues and scrambling to hire, ’tis the season to start holiday shopping early
Kevin Sobkowicz of Arlington Heights, Illinois looks over fishing poles and fishing gear at Dick's Sporting Goods on Thursday, September 16, 2021, in Deer Park, Illinois. - Stacey Wescott/TNS

Consumers are expected to be in the mood to spend this holiday season, but this isn’t the year to procrastinate. With the COVID-19 pandemic snarling supply chains and threatening to leave stores and distribution centers short-staffed, consumers may need to shop early to avoid missing must-have items. Big discounts, too, could be tougher to come by, thanks to higher transportation and labor costs. “COVID-19 is going to be the Grinch that stole Christmas yet again this year,” said Per Hong, senior partner in the consulting firm Kearney’s strategic operations practice. Holiday retail sales are pr...