West Virginians still ready to holiday shop despite inflation, supply chain issues

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia retailers are feeling confident heading into the 2021 holiday shopping season, but say they still have concerns with nationwide supply chain issues and inflation.

Bridget Lambert

“There’s no doubt that we’re having a back up at the ports; however, I think our customers have qued into that. We encourage customers to shop early,” said Bridget Lambert, president of the West Virginia Retailers Association.

Holiday sales nationwide are expected to rise between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent, according to the National Retail Federation. It’s an increase from last year, a record high.

Lambert said they believe that’s because many people are returning to work and getting their COVID-19 vaccines.

“Some of them have taken advantage of vaccinations and they feel a little more confident heading out, so we’re confident that we’ll have a good holiday season this year,” she said.

Despite a 30-year high on inflation, retailers in the Mountain State are still seeing record online orders.

Lambert said the pandemic has changed shopping trends.

“Our retailers would encourage our customer base to take advantage of other trends that have grown through the pandemic like curb side pick up, same day in-store pickup and store delivery options that are now available in a lot of areas,” she said.

The limited amount of supply on certain items is not stopping shoppers from seeking what they want to purchase, Lambert said.

“I think it’s making our customers a little bit more savvy with how they’re shopping for this season,” she said.

Several major retailers are closed Thanksgiving Day, a change in recent years, including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and others. Those stores will reopen early on Black Friday.

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