Holiday season

Sales could hit $859 billion this holiday season as shoppers scramble to find last-minute gifts

November and December sales could be up 11.5% from 2020, according to the National Retail Federation. Sales could potentially hit $859 billion this holiday season.

Author and USA Today Retail and Workplace Correspondent Charisse Jones told “CBS Mornings” that sales were up because Americans were looking forward to the holiday season.

“A lot of people have extra money because salaries have gone up a bit this year. You also have the stimulus checks and the child tax credits. So people have a little more money in their pockets. They can’t wait to get out there and shop,” Jones said.

But for many, certain items on their holiday wish lists won’t make it under their Christmas trees due to national supply chain issues.

“There are supply chain issues. Okay, I mean some of the things you really want on your vacation list just weren’t there this year. So [shoppers] had to improvise a bit to get everything on their list,” Jones said.

Jones said Americans spend their money on classic toys like Barbie dolls, Legos and Nerf items. Household items like Instant Pots and Roomba vacuums as well as clothing were also popular.

But electronics remain supreme this holiday season, with many shoppers eager to pick up smartphones, the Nintendo Switch, Xbox and more. game consoles which have been difficult to locate online.

Physical stores have seen an increase in shoppers due to the limited supply of electronics found online.

“Well, they really got used to something this year because of the supply chain issues. So a lot of people would go online, look for whatever they wanted, that doll or that PlayStation, and if they were at a local store, they would drive there immediately, pick it up – that way you don’t have to wait, you don’t pay shipping,” Jones added.

Malls have also seen an increase in foot traffic over the past two months as many shoppers, especially younger ones, feel more comfortable leaving their homes.

“I think this year you’re really missing the crowds from before, going through the pandemic. So people really wanted to go out and shop in person more this year,” Jones said.

Jones recommends gift cards if shoppers can’t find their items by Christmas Day. These hard-to-find items could become available within weeks after Hollidays.

“So next year when the inventory opens up, the supply chain will improve a bit, you can find the best gift you couldn’t get before and maybe even save a few bucks because it there’s a lot more available and not as much as a clamor for it. And that can really help you too,” Jones said.

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