Local brick-and-mortar stores see advantage this holiday season
Online Black Friday sales dipped this year due to supply chain disruptions.
And in-person traffic at retail locations was down 28.3% nationally, compared to pre-pandemic levels.
COVID-19 hesitations are a driving factor, but consumers are shopping even earlier this year due to supply chain concerns.
According to Adobe Analytics, online sales were down this year for the first time ever.
“Online sales on big shopping days like Thanksgiving and Black Friday are decreasing for the first time in history,” Taylor Schreiner, the director of Adobe Digital insights, told Reuters. “It is beginning to smooth out the shape of the overall season.”
Many shoppers are spreading out their holiday gift buying starting as early as October.
Despite strategies to attract consumers, supply chain issues have made a huge dent in online shopping so far this season.
Online retailers offered fewer deals this year due to supply strain, enticing consumers to shop at brick-and-mortar stores.
According to Salesforce, the leading customer relationship management platform, discount rates during the week leading to Cyber Monday were on average 8% lower than last year in the U.S.
Additionally, 72% of Americans polled said they have seen higher prices in the last three months.
Effects of the supply chain can be seen in California at the Port of Los Angeles, which is just now starting to attack its huge backup of freight.
These complications are allowing local businesses to provide in-person sales with more dependable supplies.
Though big box stores once had endless inventories, Jennifer Steinwurtzel, owner of Jake & Jones boutique, told the News-Press, “Maybe not this year because of the supply chain issues.”
The Santa Barbara entrepreneur added, “People this year will want to go out and shop.”
Mrs. Steinwurtzel told the News-Press her business model operates on limited supply with more unique items saying, “Our customers are specific in that they want a dress from a specific designer that only made 20 of those dresses. If they don’t get it, it’s gone.”
While small businesses are still taking the brunt of the supply chain disruptions, larger retailers’ reliance on e-commerce allows for the flourishing of brick-and-mortar stores.
“I’m not someone who loves online shopping,” Loom Boutique owner Torrie Smith told the News-Press. “I really pride myself on my personal relationships with my clients and customers.”
Ms. Smith, whose store is in Santa Ynez, said delayed shipping has encouraged more people in Santa Barbara County to visit physical stores and survey the supply for themselves.
Despite retailers spreading out deals before the holiday season, the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to rise between 8.5% and 10.5%, with more consumers avoiding shipping delays by visiting physical stores.