Christmas 2022’s inventory looks a lot like 2021
With last year’s in-store Christmas shopping stifled by the emergence of the Omicron strain of the novel coronavirus, and supply chain disruptions preventing orders from hitting the shelves on time, retailers ended up sitting on a lot of seasonal inventory. They packed it away for a year and, now as a new Christmas season approaches, they are selling it again.
In July of this year retailers had $548.8 billion of inventory packed away, and now holiday sweaters, decorations and artificial trees that have spent a year in storage are beginning to hit the shelves, according to Reuters. Kohl’s already has its overstock Christmas pajamas out and on sale for 25 percent off, and Express is putting its backed up holiday inventory into its outlet stores. This comes as early holiday shopping, even for discounted items, remains weak.
Retailers may be reliant this holiday season on merchandise they have had for a while, as the amount of imports coming into U.S. ports is projected to be the lowest in two years. Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chains and customs policy at the National Retail Federation, said in a statement that retailers “have plenty of merchandise on hand to meet demand.” He was referring not to overstock, but to merchandise ordered earlier in the year to beat inflation and potential supply chain bottlenecks.
Projections about how much customers are planning on spending when this holiday season gets fully underway are mixed.
On one hand, 58 percent of U.S. consumers intend to cut back on non-food holiday spending this year according to a ShipStation study. This would represent a 14 percent drop in sales year-over-year and a $30 billion reduction of consumer spending.
In contrast, a recently released study by KPMG found that shoppers intend to spend 6 percent more during the holidays than they did in 2021, Women’s Wear Daily reported.
- U.S. retailers fill store shelves with leftover holiday inventory – Reuters
- Will overstocking get retailers through the holidays? – RetailWire
- Do retailers have the right stuff for Christmas? – RetailWire
- New Report From ShipStation Suggests U.S. Consumer Holiday Spend Will Decrease, Contrasting With Optimistic Merchant Expectations – ShipStation/BusinessWire
- KPMG Says Shoppers Plan to Spend More This Holiday Due to Inflation – Women’s Wear Daily
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will shoppers buy 2021’s leftover Christmas inventory or react negatively to last year’s merchandise? Will retailers need to take a different approach to moving products that were packed and held versus those that are new in 2022?