Don't wait to buy, send holiday gifts as COVID-19 supply chain disruption continues

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The gift-buying season is well under way, and as you weigh your options you shouldn't wait too long.

"Every step of the supply chain has seen a disruption," said Professor Maciek Nowak of the Loyola Quinlan School of Business.

Nowak teaches supply chain management at the university.

"You are not going to have the variety of products you are used to, and they are going to take longer to get things where they are going to be," he said.

Nowak said this year everything from the raw materials, to manufacturing, to store shelves and all steps in between have been disrupted by the pandemic. With businesses keeping inventory low prior to the pandemic, some items will run out.

"I would buy it today if you see it's available, because there's no guarantee that there's more inventory coming up in the next few weeks," he said.

And it will also likely take longer for packages to get where they're going.

Shaunise Trainor, manager of the UPS Store in Hyde Park, said business is already up about 30 percent during the pandemic, so she's recommending customers who want to make sure their gifts get under the tree send early. Very early.

"If you are sending UPS Ground, I would send it by the 15th just to make sure it gets there," Trainor said.

After that, she said you may want to consider sending by air, which will be a more expensive option.
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