Shoppers are ready to restock their closets for the fall and winter. But many are asking, where’s all the clothing?
Kristin Sterling was trying to do some back-to-school shopping at TJ Maxx. “I’ve been looking for baby items, as well as for a teen, a school-age child,” Sterling said. But inside, she found a much smaller selection than she has seen before. “I’m finding that there’s not that much clothing,” Sterling said.
Shoppers across the country are finding half-empty clothing racks, and shoe shelves out of popular sizes at many stores. At a Burlington store, a third of the store is now closed off with a divider. High school sophomore Mia Dressel was looking for a homecoming dress with her grandmother, but… “All the dresses were really, really short, or really long,” Dressel said.
And it’s not just discount stores struggling to keep clothing on their shelves. Retail stores everywhere are coping with product shortages as we start getting into the all-important holiday shopping season.
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It’s the result of pent-up demand combined with supply chain breakdowns according to Kerry Byrne of freight broker Total Quality Logistics. “What we are seeing is a disruption in the supply chain that happens sometimes when there is a limited capacity. But now with the labor shortage, it has just been exacerbated,” Byrne said.
Byrne also says a shortage of plant workers and truck drivers, coupled with cargo ship backlogs, means shelves may not be much fuller for the holidays.
The CEO of TJ Maxx’s parent company says they do not have as much product as they would like, but believes it is a short-term issue. In the meantime, do that shopping early so you don’t waste your money.