Retailers/Shipping Services Urge Early Holiday shopping

Shipping delays across the world may slow down shipping on Christmas gifts this year. Retailers and shipping services are urging people to do their holiday shopping early, so it makes it to their doorstep in time for Christmas.
Like many retailers, Heather Pierce Designs in Montgomery is stocking up ahead of the busy holiday season. Pierce has already received emails from distributors saying they won’t have any more shipments before the holidays, and she’s seen shipping prices skyrocket over the last weeks.

The Alabama Retail Association says stores that aren’t stocked up may be in trouble because of supply chain issues and shipping delays across the country.

“We’ve kind of moved away from November being the prime shopping month to trickling into October,” Nancy Dennis with the Alabama Retail Association said.

The United States Postal Service saw an unprecedented nearly 50 percent increase in package volume last winter as people did most of their shopping online. They are launching their “Delivering for America” plan.

The plan is to help prepare for the higher delivery demands of the 2021 holiday peak season through:

  • increased hiring of delivery and mail processing personnel (40,000 nationwide) … visit www.usps.com/careers for job opportunities in Alabama and across the U.S.

  • the leasing of millions of additional square feet of sortation facilities — the Birmingham Package Support Annex (PSA) is one of 45 leased facilities across the nation.

  • the installation of new processing equipment — including a package sorter in Birmingham and Huntsville … these are two of 112 package sorters being deployed throughout the nation.

“Our customers are very important to us, and by implementing this plan we will be able to provide them outstanding service not just during the holidays but throughout the coming years,”  Debra Jean Fetterly with USPS said.

However, Pierce says any shipping hold-ups may be an opportunity for people in the River Region to shop local.

“They’re going to keep on waiting. At the last minute, they’re going to panic, and hopefully they’ll come here.”

And though we haven’t even made it to Halloween yet, if you see something in the store you like it may not be a bad idea to go ahead buy it.

“You want something that’s popular? It may be better to get it now,” Dennis said.

USPS is expecting the week of December 13-18 to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week of the season.

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