Ugly Christmas sweaters may be in short supply this year, as the shipping crisis has left them stuck on delayed container ships, a report says

Women in Christmas sweaters run in a race in Germany
Participants in the Ugly Christmas Sweater Run. Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • A company selling ugly holiday sweaters predicted a shortage amid the supply chain crisis.
  • “Christmas sweaters, there’ll definitely be a shortage,” one exec told The Detroit Free Press.
  • Retail spending is expected to be on par with 2020 spending, The National Retail Federation said.

The US may be facing a shortage of ugly holiday sweaters this holiday season amid the worldwide shipping crisis, The Detroit Free Press reported.

Ostentatious holiday sweaters have been growing in popularity for years. There are ugly-sweater fun runs held around the world. Rent the Runway launched a capsule collection. A Popeyes version sold out in hours. Office Christmas parties use them as a theme. And there are many, many lists – here are three from Insider – compiling and reviewing the ugliest of the ugly.

But the ongoing supply chain crisis may make it more difficult for consumers to get their hands on them, Fred Hajjar, of uglychristmassweater.com, told the newspaper.

“Christmas sweaters, there’ll definitely be a shortage,” Hajjar reportedly said.

That Michigan-based company expects to sell about 100,000 sweaters this year, the Detroit Free Press reported. But many of those sweaters are now delayed in transit, with several shipping containers full of them stuck in Long Beach.

Consumer spending this holiday season isn’t expected to drop, despite the supply chain issues, according to the National Retail Federation.

A crowd wearing ugly holiday sweaters under heavy snowfall
A crowd wearing ugly holiday sweaters. Koen van Weel/AFP via Getty Images

US shoppers are expected to spend about $US1,000 ($AU1,340) apiece on gifts and holiday items, including the ugly sweaters they buy for themselves. That’s about what they spent last year, despite the pandemic, the group said.

“Consumers are ready to celebrate, and gift-giving is high on the list,” Matthew Shay, NRF chief, said in a statement.

It added: “The retail industry is working diligently with ports, labor, shippers and transportation providers, as well as government officials to overcome supply chain challenges and make sure consumers have access to the gifts they want to give and, just as important, receive.”