COLORADO SPRINGS — Throughout 2022 backlogs in the supply chain caused issues for shoppers. Whether it was difficult finding certain items or an increase in prices.
As 2022 comes to an end, Scott Van Ness, an instructor at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs said it’s a different story.
“Retailers now are sitting on anywhere from two to three seasons worth of apparel,” Van Ness said.
With the increase in items, Van Ness said discounts are coming. Van Ness teaches a class on supply chain and the last year has served as a real-time case study for his students.
With inflation and the current state of the economy, many shoppers will be looking to save money and Van Ness said there’s a strategy to making the supply chain impacts work for you.
“If you’re thinking about buying clothes: wait,” Van Ness said, “they’ve got to get through their inventory and they’ve got to discount but they don’t want to damage their brand.”
The potential damage to brands is in just how much they’ll discount. Van Ness said it becomes a challenge because brands don’t want to be associated with discounted goods.
“If you do that too long, no one will want to pay the regular price,” Van Ness said.
Some options to get the most out of your dollar include opting for gift cards, then as discounts come out your dollar goes further.
“expect the discounts to be 30,40,50 percent right away,” Van Ness said.
With other items like appliances, it’s safer to buy now than later as companies are reducing the number of items being made.
When it comes to shopping locally, it’s a different story. Rocky Mountain Soap Market in downtown Colorado Springs said the holiday shopping season has already been a busy one.
“After Small Business Saturday I was in touch with our makery in Black Forest saying "okay we've run out of this and this and this and we need more!” Cindy Puleo, the manager of the store said.
Rocky Mountain Soap Market largely makes all of its products.
The pandemic actually expanded the store’s customer base as more people were shopping locally. Puleo said the customers that first tried out the store in the beginning of the pandemic were largely retained.
“It touches my heart and fills my heart," Puleo said.
The store also expanded its online presence which Puleo credits as part of its expanding customer base. One change she said they’ve noticed this season is people are spending less money, but they’re seeing an increase in the number of customers.
"People are doing a lot of looking first and then coming back to buy," Puleo said.
There’s also a strategy for local store owners. In Rocky Mountain Soap Market's case, the strategy started early with planning in January of this year. Puleo said the planning reaped benefits for the store.
"I think our creativity has really paid off," Puleo said.
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