This could be the most expensive Black Friday yet

Macys black friday 2020
  • Global supply-chain issues are causing retailers to slash sales and deals.
  • Traffic jams at ports and severe labor shortages are preventing retailers from getting products in time.
  • Reduced inventory is deterring stores from offering their typical holiday sales.

Though the holiday shopping season usually heralds a slew of discounts, sales may be few and far between this year as the supply chain crisis contributes to emptying store shelves, CNN reported.

As a result of massive traffic jams at ports and labor shortages in the transportation industry, retailers often have fewer products in their inventories and face delays in products that should’ve arrived in time for the holiday season, which gives stores less incentive to offer deep discounts on items.

Adobe, which tracks retail websites, projects that holiday discounts this year will range from 5% to 25%, down from the 10% to 30% off that customers are used to.

Macy’s executives said the chain has offered fewer discounts this year than in the past, which has helped improve profits, and discounts at other companies like Academy Sports + Outdoors and J. Jill have also dwindled in the face of short supply of products, according to CNN.

Supply-chain issues are also leading to an earlier start on Black Friday sales and a scaled-down version of the doorbuster sales consumers are used to.

Supply-chain experts are urging customers to get their holiday shopping done early this year to secure in-demand items and avoid the peak Christmas crowd. The logistics nightmare is also threatening a litany of other Christmas and Thanksgiving-related goods, from artificial Christmas trees to Thanksgiving turkeys.

One of the causes of the supply chain-related shortages are consumers, who fueled the crisis by spending skyrocketing amounts on online shopping during the pandemic.

The supply chain crisis is so extreme that the term “supply chain” was mentioned 3,000 times during earnings calls this year.

Supply chain is taking center stage on earnings calls, as the supply chain is a disaster,” Scott Mushkin, an analyst at R5 Capital, told Bloomberg. “Honestly, there is a chance the system breaks down during the holidays.”