Business

US retailers are in a hurry to secure shares for the holiday season


U.S. retailers are struggling to keep up with demand as rising consumer spending, coupled with a lack of containers, trucks and storage space, pushes inventories to historically low levels, raising fears about stock levels for the holiday season.

Dollar Tree chains from Costco warn of port blockages in recent days increase in freight costs : Extending the time required to import goods to the United States.

Stores that held shares for about a month and a half before the epidemic had their inventories and sales fall to just 1.1, the lowest level since at least 1992, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. data: display.

“For every 110 TVs a retailer can have 100 of them in stock [each month]”It leaves very little room for security,” said Noah Hoffman, CH Robinson, North America’s vice president of land transportation.

The logistics company reported that many retailers placed holiday orders from June to April to overcome congestion. Consumers can still wait four or six weeks for e-merchandise deliveries, Hoffman added.

With ships from Asia waiting 12 to 15 days for unloading, domestic carriers such as Union Pacific and FedEx are accelerating peak season surcharges for months. “We do not anticipate that reserves will reach the beginning of 2022,” he said. “Hoffman said.

Last week, several retailers confirmed revenue calls that they were speeding up orders to avoid stock shortages.

Dollar General CEO John von Garat said they “strategically pushed” the purchases. The dollar store chain was comfortable with its inventory, he added, but “out-of-stock prices are higher than we would like for some high-demand items.”

Best Buy CEO Corey Barry responded that “excessive” consumer demand for e-retail products was accompanied by supply chain disruptions, creating “restrictions” on the availability of home appliances, computers and televisions.

Its chief financial officer, Richard Galantin, told analysts that Costco had placed “primary” orders, noting that the turning point for shipping containers arriving in the United States and delivering their contents overseas had doubled to 50 days.

“The downside is that it will continue for most of this calendar year,” he said.

Shipping costs are also much higher than usual, with US base rates from Asia ranging from $ 4,000 to $ 5,000 per unit, up from $ 1,500 in 2019, says Gartner CEO Brian Whitlock. Some clients pay up to $ 3,000 to guarantee capacity.

Whitlock notes that the delay in a container ship colliding in the Suez Canal in March is compounded by the fact that China, which is faster than the United States and Europe, has left many containers in the wrong places.

LoadMatch chairman, matches Eason Hilsenbeck, who handles freight to trucks, says import delays are “worse than anyone can remember”, but predicted that consumer demand would weaken by easing capacity flexibility by August. :

Gartner’s Whitlock agreed, the West Coast port’s decline seemed to be improving, but he said the “container imbalance” could continue into the third quarter, when retailers would normally receive holiday goods.

“We expect 2021 to be a difficult year for the Chinese New Year,” he said in 2022. “The supply chain is very fragile at the moment. I think we are crossing our fingers. We hope to have enough time without any significant problems. events. “



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