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Update: Christmas supplies coming in slowly, shortages still expected

You might need to be patient if you're planning to buy Christmas decorations this year. The same supply chain issues affecting other retailers have hit stores that sell holiday decor. File photo credit: Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A local store that specializes in Christmas decorations says they are slowly getting the containers they ordered from overseas suppliers. But the vice president of Modern Display said there will still be shortages at Christmas.

Christmas decoration shortages likely to persist, shop owner says

The expected Christmas shortages are related to ongoing supply chain problems that began at the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic. So as he indicated about a month ago, shoppers are going to have to be patient and flexible.

“Make multiple trips to your retailer,” Spencer Vriens told KSL NewsRadio. “Or ask if you can get on a list for when stuff gets in. Things like that, I know we are willing to do.”

Along with the supply problems, retailers are also facing a shortage of workers.

“These retail workers — it’s hard to find people to work.”

And knowing that the Christmas shopping rush can cause anxiety for people in the stores, he asks that we remember it’s not the fault of the employees.

“They can’t control when product comes, and if it’s there in stock or it’s what you want. Likely it’s been ordered months ago. We placed our orders in January,” Vriens said.

Supply chain hiccups cause trickle-down delays

This week, Vriens said he’s waiting on containers that his tracking service indicates have finally arrived in California. But they are still waiting for the containers to be offloaded, and then brought to Utah by truck.

And there’s one more thing shoppers should know as they head into stores to look for decorations — the cost.

“Whenever there’s not a lot of supply and a lot of demand, prices go up,” Vriens said. “For us, shipping prices have gone from 4-5 times what they were last year.”

Some things to consider? Bring your patience and flexibility to the shops this year, consider substituting something you really want for something you can get right now. And thrift stores may be an option, too.


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