Despite reduced imports, retailers say they’re well stocked for the holidays

Christmas tree in holiday shop at Target
AP Photo/Bill Sikes

Retailers in the U.S. are said to be well stocked and ready for holiday shoppers amid reduced imports as China still grapples with warehouse shutdowns.

While imports in the U.S. increased early in 2022 compared to 2021, imports have fallen in recent months. The National Retail Federation estimates that U.S. imports will be down 9.4% this month compared to October 2021.

Because of product shortages a year ago, experts say retailers were more prepared for reduced imports this holiday season.

“The holiday season has already started for some shoppers and, thanks to pre-planning, retailers have plenty of merchandise on hand to meet demand,” NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Many retailers brought in merchandise early this year to beat rising inflation and ongoing supply chain disruption issues. Despite the lower volumes, retailers are still experiencing challenges along the supply chain, including U.S. ports and intermodal rail yards.”

The National Retail Federation also estimates that spending this year will be about 6%-8% higher than a year ago. The organization said that despite high inflation, income growth has allowed some consumers to continue spending.

“Consumers have become cautious — but they have not stopped spending,” National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Growth is not as high as last year, but households continue to spend each month as more jobs, wage growth and savings backstop their finances and help them confront higher prices.”

By Justin Boggs, Scripps National

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