Supply chain shortages could make this the most expensive holiday shopping season ever

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Because of supply chain shortages, 2021 could be the most expensive holiday shopping season ever. Despite that, it’s predicted people are going to spend hundreds of billions of dollars. 

This Christmas season has a different feel to it. 

“There’s almost a need for happy holidays this year,” said shopper John Branch.  “I think there will be more spending this year.” 

The National Retail Federation believes up to $859 billion will be spent on gifts this year.  

“People have money to spend and they want to spend it,” said Dr. Michael Walden an economist at NCSU. 

He believes people want this Christmas to lift them out of the doldrums after the constant frustration over the pandemic. 

“People want to be out and experience the Christmas buying season,” said Walden. 

He says that means more in-person shopping rather than cybershopping. 

“I need to get back to normal and see friends and celebrate being together,” said shopper Melanie Bryan. 

“I prefer shopping in person,” said Zoe Delavarre.  “It’s a little easier to see what you are buying in person.” 

Walden said people are worried the supply chain may deprive them of the gifts they want, so they’ll spend as quickly as they can. 

“People are willing to buy early and buy as soon as they see something,” he said. 

“I’m doing my best to do everything I can ahead of time,” said shopper Grey Vaughn. 

“We heard things might not get here in time so we got it done early,” said shopper Jamie Schultz. 

When it comes to cyber shopping, possible shortages are causing people to buy multiple gifts for the same person. 

“That’s an insurance policy people are using,” said Walden. “Let’s get one, two or three gifts and if we get the one we really wanted, we’ll send the other 2 back.” 

One other thing that might make this Christmas season more expensive, the cost of merchandise. 

“Don’t look for big discounts,” said Walden. “That’s the supply chain affecting things.” 

The American Research Group says the average shopper will spend at least $835 on gifts this season.  

It also says that shoppers are more willing to pay full price for gifts this year, than in season’s past. 

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