When COVID first hit, we were all inundated with images of empty grocery store shelves, and stories of fights over toilet paper. The phrase “supply chain issues” became so well known that we’re all now sick of hearing it.
While some items (like baby formula, tampons, and car computer chips) still remain affected by supply chain issues more than two years into the pandemic, the rush to remedy shortages at the beginning of the pandemic has left some retailers with extra inventory. For example, stores couldn’t order enough lawn furniture in 2020, with everyone buying a new home, and wanting to sit outside. But in 2022, there haven’t been as many people interested in decorating their backyards, which has left stores that continued ordering in large quantities sitting on excess inventory.
But what does that mean for consumers? Sales, of course! As some retailers look to clear out inventory they over-ordered during stock shortages, or to rid themselves of poorly timed product arrival, here are some things you, dear shopper, can look for to score the best deals.
Christmas Shopping – in July
Literally. Due to 2020 and 2021 disruptions in manufacturing and shipping, countless products were delayed making it into the US on time. This means that many items that stores ordered to sell during the holiday season (that were supposed to arrive in, say, October of 2021) didn’t make it to U.S. warehouses until January, and they just weren’t sold. Many retailers are now looking to unload these items now, via summer clearance sales.
“Supply chain delays meant that some holiday merchandise from last fall never arrived in time, so I’d expect places like Old Navy, Walmart, Best Buy, and perhaps Wayfair to offer some sharper deals than usual,” says Edgar Dworsky, Founder & Editor of Consumer World. “And with shoppers moving away from casual clothing, home goods, some electronics, and major appliances, retailers that wind up having excessive inventories in these categories might be marking them down sooner or more deeply than usual.”
Looking for a bargain? Think about what you wanted during the early days of COVID, and shop accordingly
When you first went into lockdown, what kinds of things were you looking to buy? Some new comfy sweats to wear around the house? A new flatscreen to binge Tiger King on? These are the exact kinds of products you should be on lookout for this summer, as retailers may have over-ordered these due to the rush demand early-pandemic days
“Items that were over-ordered due to high demand at the beginning of the pandemic are now overstocked,” says Trae Bodge, Smart Shopping Expert at truetrae.com. “This includes loungewear/athleisure, furniture, and even TV’s.” Keep an eye out for deals at all retailers that stock clothing, home goods, furniture and electronics, because they may be rolling back prices on these items to clear out inventory before the holiday season. Retailers include Home Goods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Costco, Wayfair, and even Amazon.
Is there a better tracking method to find out about all the discounts that may be happening?
As of now, there’s no single database or true way to know for sure which stores will have sales on overstocked goodies, at what time. But there are definitely strategies you can use if you know what you want.
Exactly what and how much goes on sale will probably depend on the retailer, explained Bodge. “I’m hearing that some retailers are moving merchandise to discounters, some are putting items on clearance, while others are hanging on to the merchandise to sell later. I think it will depend on if the retailer is flush with cash and has ample available storage…or not.”
Overall, she says she’s expecting sales from larger national retailers, like the Gap brands, Walmart, Target, Macy’s, etc. “My suggestion for shoppers is to keep an eye on clearance sections and discount retailers, as the selection might be more interesting than usual. And if you have a need for furniture or a TV’s, do your research now so you’re ready when a sale occurs,” Bodge says.
READ MORE ON HERMONEY:
- Holiday Swapping Shops That Will Save You Money This Season
- Here’s How Much Of Your Spending You Should Really Be Spending On The Holidays
- Prices Are Climbing—Here’s What To Do Now To Prepare For The Holidays
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