Supply chain crisis: buy Christmas stock now and start marketing early, says Bira CEO

Bira is urging independent retailers to finalise their Christmas strategies earlier than usual to help overcome potential supply chain issues.

CEO Andrew Goodacre says that businesses will need to plan ahead for this year’s festive season, particularly in terms of stock: “The real challenge for the retailer is the supply chain and ensuring that the stock is available at the right time – so look to buy stock now and start the marketing for the festive period now,” he told Forbes. “It is likely that Christmas shopping may start earlier than usual, especially if the difficulties in the supply chains continue.”

Retailers across all categories are being affected by Brexit, driver shortages and the UK’s fuel crisis, which is causing delays to orders getting to stores around the country. Many indies wait to buy Christmas stock such as gifts in-season, but this year could see them having to invest in seasonal items much earlier than usual.

Bira warned indies about potential supply chain issues back in August, when Goodacre said: “For some time we have been hearing about concerns regarding deliveries due to a shortage drivers. At the moment, the focus has been on ensuring food supplies are maintained. However, as the shortage of drivers is unlikely to be resolved in the near future, I would urge non-food independent retailers to consider their supply chain in the run up to the busy Christmas period.”

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