This year, the excitement around what to give people for the holidays is clouded with a question: Will gifts arrive on time? According to NerdWallet’s annual Holiday Shopping Report, 68% of holiday shoppers anticipate that supply issues could cause the big-ticket items they’re looking for to be unavailable this year.
The good news for consumers is that there are still a handful of categories that are easy to buy, which means you can still shop, wrap and gift presents without worrying that they’ll get stuck on a container ship thousands of miles away.
“This is a year to be more creative in your gift-giving,” says Kerri Camp, associate professor of marketing at The University of Texas at Tyler. “Money is tight for many people, and the cost of goods has gone up, but you can give things that aren’t as reliant on the supply chain.”
Here are six categories of gifts that aren’t directly impacted by international supply chain delays:
1. Products and services from local small businesses
“My first tip to consumers is to shop local. Now is the time to go visit your local, small retailers, because they will have everything in stock and will want to sell them,” says Jane Boyd Thomas, professor of marketing at Winthrop University in South Carolina. “You can also get additional perks like gift wrapping and in-house personalization.”
It’s also a way to support the community. “We all did a lot of Amazon this last year and are feeling like we want to support local businesses so they don’t disappear,” says Michelle Madhok, online shopping expert and founder of deals site SheFinds. Indeed, 35% of holiday shoppers say they will shop more for holiday gifts at local and small businesses this year to support their community, according to the NerdWallet survey.
Thomas includes experiences in this category, too, and recommends giving gifts such as tickets to your local museum or theater, or gift certificates to restaurants or a local spa. “People are more interested in experiences than things,” she says.
2. Edible and perishable goods
“Perishable food items can’t stay in shipping containers so go by other methods, like air. We aren’t seeing supply chain disruptions on airplanes, so it’s much easier to get those items in stock,” Camp says. Shoppers can also shop online for monthly subscriptions for items like food, flowers and coffee, so gift recipients continue to receive boxes all year long.
At 1-800-Flowers.com, which includes brands like Harry & David and Wolferman’s Bakery, …….