NewsMissoula County


Ready, Set, Shop! Supply shortages force early holiday shopping

Posted at 4:55 PM, Nov 01, 2021

MISSOULA — From labor to housing to everything in between, shortages have been a major issue over the past year.

And the problem doesn't sound like it will improve before holiday shopping is in full swing.

MTN News took a closer look at the situation in Missoula.

In order to ensure you can get everything on that list and avoid the holiday shortages, you better start shopping — now.

“So it's compounding and it's going to impact our holiday. There's just no way around it,” said Roseann Freitas with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Cargo ships stopped in the ports across the country will affect us all this holiday season. This comes as the BBB has been notified by some companies that they have orders placed all the way out to next year. So what about here in Montana?

Jen Hildenbrand. the owner of Sunday School, a clothing and shoe store — says she normally orders inventory one year ahead of time, but even now, those shipments are delayed.

sunday school

“My shipments right now that I went ahead and I ordered a year ago, I'm getting notifications right now saying that they will not ship until July. That is a six-month variation," Hildenbrand told MTN News.

Freitas says to shop now and not to wait for those big sales, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, because they likely won’t be big sales. Instead, she suggests shopping local.

“It really is important, especially coming out of the pandemic with shop local," said Freitas. "We keep the money in our own towns, but then you know who you're shopping with, versus going online and maybe taking a chance with a company you may or may not know and get into products you may or may not get.”

“Buy local when you can," said Hildenbrand. "Everybody loves you know today's shipping quick, whatever the Amazon effect, absolutely. But there's still a lot of really great businesses that are local in town that have a lot of great products.”

downtown missoula

With the demand for goods so high right now, and with supply too low to meet those needs, prices are only rising.

“So right now with that shortage, expect higher prices and you're seeing it across the board, from food to computer chips to household items, prices have increased,” Freitas noted.

To make the perfect storm this holiday season, we are also experiencing employee shortages. So, be patient, budget, and shop local.