BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Americans are expected to be in the mood to spend this holiday season but this isn't the year to procrastinate and experts say you may be taking a gamble by waiting for a discount.
"This holiday season will be much different, it will be much longer," said Tinglong Dai, Professor at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.
Local business analytics expert Tinglong Sai said supply chain and labor issues from the start of the pandemic are creating a major backlog and just about every industry is seeing the impact.
"So overall we have enough supply, we have basically a stable demand. Its in the middle, a lot of things, lots of kinks that need to be worked out," said Dai. "If we can get more people to work, I think that's really the key to solve this ongoing trouble."
As container ships continue to sit outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with a shortage of truck drivers and warehouse workers, experts say small retailers will be hit the hardest.
"We started hearing from vendors. Shoes that we're supposed [to be] delivered in August or September were getting pushed to October, November, even some December," said Mary Kate Donahue, Brand Manager and Assistant Buyer at Sassanova.
That's why at Sassanova, a local clothing boutique, the staff has already worked to stay ahead of the disruptions.
"When it came time for us to really front-load all of our holiday gifts, around June, July, we just decided to get everything in as soon as we could," said Donahue.
Some local shoppers are also not taking any chances.
"I already stocked up on my food. Already did my Thanksgiving shopping," said Joana Straughter-Diallo. "I already put down my holiday shopping and my special shopping"
But experts say there's no need to start panic buying. Instead, just plan ahead and learn to adapt to the changes.
"Consumers should expect to see less discount to be offered, also less variety and in certain cases, you have to settle with what's available rather than what you desire," Dai added.
"We're just reminding customers that if you see it and you don't buy it there's a very high chance that it's not going to be here when you come back," Donahue said.
Dai said he expects things to start dwindling back to normal and back up to speed sometime early next year. In the meantime, he said now is a good time to support local businesses.
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