While it might seem a bit early to go holiday shopping, retailers say the sooner you start, the better — especially given the global supply chain disruptions which could impact what you buy.
“Our independent retailers in town are very good and they’re working really hard to make sure that the shelves are stocked with things that Victorians want, but there are big supply chain disruptions this year, particularly after the catastrophic weather event we had last week in the province,” said Teri Hustins, the owner of Oscar & Libby’s gift shop and Kaboodles toy store.
She urges shoppers to plan early, be nimble and buy locally.
“Have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and be willing to be flexible,” Hustins said. “Check out what other retailers have if you don’t find it in that one spot. Call another store and check them out.”
She’s also noticed her customers shopping earlier this year.
“I think people are well aware that there are big supply chain disruptions this year. Just based on our sales in the last six weeks, we’ve definitely seen an increase and that tells us that people are trying to get ahead of their holiday shopping so they’re not disappointed,” she said.
Like many shoppers this year, Samantha Wallace had an early start and now she’s almost done her Christmas shopping.
“It’s tough out there. You really have to prepare early this year I think,” Wallace said.
Others, like George Klukowski, has just gotten started.
“I’m not going out there with high expectations that everything I absolutely want to find, I’ll find. I know it’s going to be a bit a slug,” he said.
Stephanie Moldovan has a more relaxed approach when it comes to gift-giving.
“Right now, we’re focusing on getting them gift cards and cash and things like that just because it’s going to be so hard to get them those actual items,” she explained.
But Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce disagrees.
The organization is pushing shoppers to buy hyper-locally and is even covering the cost of shipping for goods purchased from Chamber businesses this season.
“It’s kind of a reminder to people when they’re shopping online, they might be getting something from outside this area, but chances are pretty good that whatever you’re after, you can find it here and we feel that this incentive will make that easier,” said the chamber’s CEO, Bruce Williams.