The pandemic has caused supply chain issues and shortages in a number of different industries, from air conditioners and kitchen appliances to cars, computer chips and lumber. Due to worker shortages, overwhelmed ports, and resource demands, many products that are typically readily available have become hard to find. Investment bank Raymond James anticipates that these problems will worsen in the latter half of 2021 before they start to improve.
Stock up on these winter supplies before shortages make them hard to come by.
If you plan to invest in a snow blower this year, it would be prudent to make your purchase before the first snowfall of the season. According to the Industry Outlook Report for the Snow Blower Market in the U.S and Canada, increased snowfall in areas around the continent have caused a surge in demand for snow blowers in various regions and could result in product availability issues.
Over the summer, we’ve been able to move gatherings and events outdoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the colder months, however, air purifiers will be a key component in keeping indoor spaces—like classrooms and offices—safe. Between the airborne virus and the wildfires that have persisted on the West Coast, demand for air purifiers has climbed steadily in recent months. If you need an air purifier for your home or business, get your hands on one while you can.
Turkey is a holiday staple in many homes for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, but retailers and distributors foresee an upcoming shortage for the 2021 season. It’s expected to impact smaller, fresh turkeys, which were popular last year as many celebrated with just their immediate families. Consider buying a frozen turkey before the holiday rush in order to secure one for your dinner table.
Last winter, patio heaters were hard to come by since so many people wanted to extend their outdoor entertaining season. If you plan to host outdoors this winter, buy an outdoor heater now before the seasonal rush. While a lot of popular models are already sold out, there are still some great options available, including this model from Briza (available on Amazon).
Ice melt is a winter essential for preventing slips and falls on driveways, patios, and walkways, but there’s a chance it will be sold out by the time the first snowstorm hits your area. Luckily, some of our top picks, including Branch Creek’s nontoxic, pet-friendly ice melt (available on Amazon) are still in stock.
CNN sounded the alarm in August of 2021, saying that some of the country’s biggest toymakers were forecasting price increases and product shortages in the lead-up to the holiday season. Hasbro and Mattel said shoppers can expect to see 5 to 10-percent price increases on popular toys because of the higher cost of shipping and distribution. Shop for toys early this year to ensure your little ones get exactly what their hearts desire.
The increase in lumber prices has made headlines since 2020 as supply shortages caused costs to soar, with an April 2021 report from the National Association of Home Builders stating that supply chain issues in the lumber industry meant that building a house cost an average of $36,000 more than in previous years. It should come as no surprise that this is also affecting the firewood industry. If your home is heated by a wood-burning stove, stock up on firewood as early as possible to beat the seasonal rush.
Christmas 2020 saw shortages and shipping delays for some of the season’s hottest holiday gifts, and while the retail industry has at least partially recovered, shoppers can still expect to have issues in 2021. Along with toys, plan for shortages on other big-ticket items like electronics—including TVs, smartphones, gaming consoles, sneakers, and apparel.
Winter Sports Equipment
Last winter, there was an explosion of interest in outdoor winter sports like skating, skiing and snowshoeing. Demand for equipment was high, and it became difficult to find certain products on the market. The trend is likely to continue this year, so if you need new skis or skates, buy them while there’s still supply in stock.
Related: 10 Sneaky Ways to Store Winter Gear
If you live in an area that gets regular snowfall over the winter, a high-quality shovel is a must have. Last winter, it was near impossible to find a shovel in certain parts of the country, so we recommend buying one early in the season this year. Some of our top picks for the best snow shovels, including the True Temper Poly Snow Shovel (available at Amazon) have limited stock still available online.
While it’s not technically a “product” to stock up on, you might want to book your winter vacation as soon as possible. Over the summer, short-term rental site VRBO noticed a sharp increase in rentals in popular U.S. destinations. International travel is likely to be limited as restrictions change around the world, so if you plan to travel south in the U.S. this winter, it would be smart to book your vacation rental while there are still affordable options available.
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