Local small businesses say buy early this holiday season

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As we enter the busiest time of year for shopping, supply chain issues around the world are causing some items to be unavailable or difficult to get.

Local small business owners are saying it’s best to buy early this year.

Lush in Mobile is full of holiday decor and home furnishings, but this year they say their supply of decor is limited.

“In years past, we would receive our holiday merchandise in August, September, start putting it out. If it’s a really good item, a hit, we know we reorder in October, November. This year we didn’t get the merchandise until late October, early November so it’s here and when this round is gone, that’s it,” said Tim Burt, the owner of Lush.

One of their most popular items is their Gulf Coast-themed candles. But this year, Burt says they may have to re-brand.

“My jar is made in China, everything else is poured in Birmingham, is made local. That jar, we can’t get. It’s out in the ocean somewhere, so now I’ve got to make the decision do I completely change the packaging and start fresh, or do I hold off and just say we’re out of stock,” Burt said.

Experts say it is best to buy early this holiday season, as many stores across the nation are having some difficulty getting supplies, especially electronics and toys. They say the issues are going to take some time to right themselves, but there is hope.

“During the COVID period for about 18 months, supply chains were slower, now they’re speeding up and we’re trying to catch up. Demand is there,” said Dr. Alvin Williams, Interim Dean of the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama.

As Burt is gearing up for a busy shopping season, he says he’s thankful for the loyalty of his customers. “We’ve had a lot of support. this year and years past for lots of reasons,” Burt said.

Experts the sales we’re used to seeing around this time of year may not be as big as usual.

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