Every year Walmart puts out its Christmas items earlier and earlier.

This year they seem to have the right idea, as experts are encouraging everyone to shop early for the holidays as a range of supply chain issues could likely affect the price and availability of popular products, making it harder to get presents on time.

The COVID pandemic has taken a major toll on the retail industry the last two years. And a number of the resulting issues, like worker shortages and transportation delays, could affect how quickly you’ll be able to get a range of products.

Holiday shipping will also be more expensive this year. For the first time ever, the U.S. Postal Service is temporarily increasing shipping rates for all customers to offset increased costs during the busiest shipping season of the year.

Both FedEx and UPS have temporarily increased shipping costs in previous holiday seasons, and they are likely to do so again this year.

With all the uncertainty of the upcoming season, we encourage you to shop locally.

While there are several benefits to shopping local, many consumers do so to:

• Help their community

• Shop sustainably

• Receive better customer service

• Find fresh and unique products

• Get to know the face behind the business. 

Perhaps the biggest reason to shop locally is that more of your money stays in the local community. The money you spend supports the community in several ways.

And when you shop for your Christmas gifts at local stores, you help keep them open and thriving.

Last year was difficult for everyone, and with so much uncertainty surrounding the upcoming holiday gift-giving season around the globe, we encourage you to shop at the small businesses that serve as the backbone of the American economy and our local communities.

 

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