For days now, my inbox has been full of holiday shopping ads. I had no idea how many businesses I subscribe to.
Pre-Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving day. Black Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Cyber Monday. Even today, Tuesday, Cyber Monday continues.
Is it adding up to sales? A couple of things in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention.
As for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Journal reports shoppers spent more time and money in brick and mortar stores than last year. Covid fatigue may have something to do with it. People just want to get out.
As for Cyber Monday, the paper says so far sales appear flat. One of the reasons is that online discounts are lower this year.
You have to wonder if these supply chain issues are having an effect on things? I will tell you that with the exception of Gatorade and Vitamin Water, I haven’t experienced any shortages. By the way, the grocery store manager told me the shortages are not the result of a lack of product. Plenty of Gatorade and Vitamin Water. The issue is a lack of plastic bottle tops. Plenty of those in the ocean, I imagine.
The Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into the supply chain issues. It has ordered retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Tyson Foods to hand over information detailing the main factors of shipment disruptions. Fox News reports that includes pricing, profit margins, sales volumes, and the selection of suppliers and brands.
Perhaps the biggest unknown here is the Omicron variant of Covid. President Biden says, “This variant is cause for concern… not a cause of panic.”
Travel restrictions are returning and some hospitals are delaying elective procedures. No lockdowns… yet.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will tell Congress today that there may be trouble ahead. In his prepared remarks, Powell will say, “Greater concerns about the virus could reduce people’s willingness to work in person, which would slow progress in the labor market and intensify supply chain disruptions.”
A lot to think about here. For now, I’m back to my inbox. More ads to delete.