Shortages, inflation to impact holiday shopping habits

CHARLOTTE — Supply chain issues and inflation will make this year’s shopping trips different over the holidays and will affect everyone.

Personal Chef Kev Winston, of Charlotte, cooks for celebrities and is prepared for his busy season but says some items are harder to find and more expensive.

For example, Winston said he has seen a major spike in the price for steaks that he features in his plated dinners.

“I used to go buy steak, like filet. Last year, pricing was maybe $28 a pound,” Winston told Channel 9 reporter Joe Bruno. “I’m now having to spend like $58 a pound for just filet steak, which is, like, unheard of.”

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For a typical Thanksgiving meal, the American Farm Bureau Federation said the average cost to feed 10 people on Thanksgiving is more than $53, which is up $6 from last year.

For holiday shopping, shoppers will also see major changes at the store and online.

Professor Dr. Alex Perri, a professor of international business at Winthrop University, said a perfect storm has been created due to clogged shipping ports, factory shutdowns related to COVID-19 and a shortage of truckers.

“Americans have been buying a lot of goods, so that has created a clog in the ports,” said Perri. “It also created a logistic nightmare, because we have an imbalance in trade with China.”

UNC Charlotte lecturer Cindy Fox said to expect complications.

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“A lot of confusion, but also they need to have a plan,” she said.

Shoppers need to have backup ideas if what they want to purchase isn’t available, she said. She also advises to not wait until the last minute to shop, especially when ordering online.

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With so many things out of our hands, she says people need to keep in mind what the holidays are really about.

“We just need to realize that, maybe, being together is more important than having the perfect meal and the perfect gift,” Fox said.

>> Click here to hear more from Winston, Perri and Fox about current supply chain challenges.

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