Need new sneakers or backpacks for the school year? There may be a shortage of back-to-school supplies

Back-to-school races are always a nightmare. This year, expect it to be even worse. While parents may be used to encountering shortages of items like sneakers, backpacks and gadgets later in the season – which typically lasts from mid-July to the end of August – products should be in stock. tight even earlier. That means shoppers could find themselves choosing the handful of ugly backpacks and bento boxes with missing parts left at the store as early as this month. With more classrooms fully reopening in the fall, industry experts expect demand for school merchandise to be robust with shoppers spending an average of $ 850 per family, according to the National Retail Federation. , the largest trading group in the retail industry. But this demand is also coming up against tight inventory levels and delayed shipments that will impact the ability of retailers to restock products. on the shelves later in the season. “What we’ll likely see is more limited choice and lower inventory levels towards the end of the school year,” said Neil Saunders, retail analyst and managing director of GlobalRetail Data. “Some consumers will inevitably miss the things they want to buy.” He said the categories most at risk of shortage include backpacks, stationery, sports equipment, laptops and tablets. With supply tight, consumers shouldn’t expect better deals. Is. “The discounts will be much less generous both because of lower inventory and cost inflation,” Saunders said. “Consumers need to be savvy in certain areas and buy products quickly.” Where are my Nikes? The overhang of the pandemic is also adding to the problem, according to a new report released on Monday. If you’re hoping to pick up a new pair or two of Nike sneakers, you might have to go fast. The report released this week by Panjiva, the supply chain research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said Nike could run out of the sneakers it sources in Vietnam due to the spread of COVID. -19 is accelerating in the region. The Panjiva report noted that two of Nike’s suppliers in Vietnam have already stopped production. “In shoes, sneakers are by far the biggest back-to-school category for kids,” said Beth Goldstein, retail analyst with market research firm NPD GroupNike. an email to CNN Business stating that he is “confident in his ability to navigate these short-term dynamics and that we remain cautious in our planning.” The company has said it prioritizes the health and safety of its employees and suppliers, and expects its suppliers to “put the health and livelihoods of our people first. their employees “. Q2 products up from a year ago, but still below pre-2019 pandemic levels, even as consumer spending rose, boosted by government stimulus and pent-up demand. Buyers seem to have heard the news of the impending shortages, and they’ve been arriving in stores earlier than usual, said Rod Sides, vice president and head of U.S. retail at Deloitte. “Fifty-nine percent of them said they would be doing their school errands by the end of July, up from 45% last year,” Sides said, citing the results of Deloitte’s survey on back to school 2021 which surveyed 1,200 parents from May 27 to June 5 who have at least one child attending kindergarten to grade 12 this fall. He expects spending on devices to be a big driver of these purchases. This is the category that worries consumers the most in terms of shortage. “Fifty percent of buyers are concerned about stockouts, especially for tech items,” he said. Goldstein said many retailers and brands are trying a variety of ways to alleviate shortages, including trying to stock up by air rather than by sea. Levi That’s exactly what Srauss does. CEO Chip Bergh told an analyst earlier this month on a earnings conference call that as the company expects supply chain challenges to continue into the second half of the year. year, “we will do more air freight”. said while stocks of most of its basic supplies are on track, some other categories are experiencing shortages but did not provide further details.

Back-to-school races are always a nightmare. This year, expect it to be even worse.

While parents may be used to encountering shortages of items like sneakers, backpacks, and gadgets later in the season – which typically lasts from mid-July to the end of August – products should be in abundance. restricted even earlier. That means shoppers could find themselves choosing the handful of ugly backpacks and bento boxes with missing parts left at the store as early as this month.

With more classrooms fully reopening in the fall, industry experts expect demand for school merchandise to be robust, with shoppers spending an average of $ 850 per family, according to the National Retail Federation. , the largest trading group in the retail industry.

But this demand also comes up against tight inventory levels and delayed shipments which will impact the ability of retailers to restock products on the shelves later in the season.

“What we’ll likely see is more limited choice and lower inventory levels towards the end of the school year,” said Neil Saunders, retail analyst and managing director of GlobalRetail Data. “Some consumers will inevitably miss the things they want to buy.”

He said the categories most at risk of shortage include backpacks, stationery, sports equipment, laptops and tablets.

With the supply tight, consumers shouldn’t expect better deals either. “The discounts will be much less generous both because of lower inventory and cost inflation,” Saunders said. “Consumers need to be savvy in certain areas and buy products quickly.”

Where are my Nike?

The overhang of the pandemic is also adding to the problem, according to a new report monday.

If you’re hoping to buy a new pair or two of Nike sneakers, you might have to go fast.

The report released this week by Panjiva, the supply chain research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said Nike could run out of the sneakers it sources in Vietnam as the spread of COVID-19 is accelerating in the region. The Panjiva report noted that two of Nike’s suppliers in Vietnam have already stopped production.

“In shoes, sneakers are by far the biggest back-to-school category for kids,” said Beth Goldstein, retail analyst for market research firm NPD Group.

Nike said in an email to CNN Business that it was “confident [its] ability to navigate these short-term dynamics and we remain cautious in our planning. The company has said it puts the health and safety of its employees and suppliers first and expects its suppliers to “put the health and livelihoods of their employees first. “.

Panjiva data indicates that children’s clothing, shoes and backpacks remain in tight supply with imports of these products in the second quarter up from last year, but still below pre-2019 pandemic levels, even as consumer spending rose, boosted by government stimulus and pent-up demand.

Buyers appear to have been made aware of impending shortages and are arriving in stores earlier than usual, said Rod Sides, vice president and head of US retail at Deloitte.

“Fifty-nine percent of them said they would be doing their school errands by the end of July, up from 45% last year,” Sides said, citing the results of Deloitte’s survey on back to school 2021 which interviewed 1,200 parents from May. June 27 to 5 who have at least one child in Kindergarten to Grade 12 this fall.

He expects spending on devices to be a big factor in those purchases. This is the category that worries consumers the most in terms of shortage. “Fifty percent of buyers are concerned about stockouts, especially for tech items,” he said.

Goldstein said many retailers and brands are trying a variety of ways to alleviate shortages, including trying to stock up by air rather than by sea.

This is exactly what Levi Srauss does. CEO Chip Bergh told an analyst earlier this month on an earnings conference call that, as the company expects supply chain challenges to continue into the second half of the year, ” we will do more air freight “.

Walmart, a top destination for school shopping, said while stocks of most of its basic supplies are on track, some other categories are experiencing shortages but did not provide more details.

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