Expect ‘weeping children’ this holiday season, a retail expert says, as supply chain issues make it harder to buy the most popular toys

Walmart Black friday MA toys
A global supply chain crisis is putting the holiday shopping season at risk. Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider
  • Supply chain issues are making it hard for retailers to secure stock for the holiday season.
  • One expert said retailers will struggle to secure in-demand items, such as toys.
  • “There will definitely be weeping children this holiday season,” they told the FT.

Supply chain experts have warned that people should shop early or prepare for disappointment this holiday season, particularly for the most in-demand items.

Joel Bines, managing director of retail consulting firm AlixPartners, recently told the Financial Times that while he wasn’t expecting bare shelves everywhere, he thought many retailers would struggle to stock the hottest items, such as toys.

“There will definitely be weeping children this holiday season,” Bines told the FT.

Toys have already been one of the worst impacted categories by supply chain issues. Toymakers have reported millions of dollars worth of products being stuck in factories or in containers on ships, unable to get to where they need to be because of shortages and delays in the supply chain network.

The CEO of one of the world’s largest toymakers, MGA International, recently told Bloomberg that he hadn’t seen a situation like this in his 40-year career. “Everything that can go wrong is going wrong at the same time,” Isaac Larian said.

Soaring demand and the pressure on the supply chain also make holiday season discounts unlikely, retail experts have predicted. They have forecast price increases for consumers of anywhere between 5% and 30% over the next few months.

Larian has already conceded that higher prices are inevitable.

“The installation of raw material and labor has gone up exponentially,” he said in a recent conversation with CNN. “We’ve seen a 23% increase in cost of product in China without the logistics. That is going to translate to higher prices with retail.”