While the 2021 holiday lighting season may be challenging due to global production and shipping delays, planning and flexibility are the keys to success, and Ewing wants our customers to know you can Lean on Us to help get the job done.
Supply Chain Impact on Holiday Lighting
Timing of product availability is a challenge for everyone this year. Typically, holiday lighting and greenery have been delivered by now and are ready for contractors to add to their inventories. Because of supply chain disruptions, however, many of those products will be available later than usual this year.
What’s behind the delays? Here’s what we know:
- COVID-19, environmental regulations, power infrastructure and raw material shortages have delayed production worldwide
- Shipping container shortages, port and rail congestion and equipment shortages have delayed the arrival of products coming into the United States
- Fewer trucks, chassis and drivers have delayed shipments headed to their final destinations
Tips for a Successful 2021 Holiday Lighting Season
To offset the impact of delayed arrivals, many companies are rationing the holiday products they have in stock as they work to fill active orders while trying to avoid selling to installers who are in panic buy mode. They also are modifying return policies to allow only returns of defective products. Contractors and installers are advised not to panic buy. Instead, we advise that you:
- Look at your inventory to determine what products you need to add for your existing customers’ holiday displays. Plan ahead for occasional product replacement when needed for warranty or add-on sales
- Schedule rehangs of inventory you already own early, and communicate and plan new business around anticipated inventory availability
- Collaborate with your supplier on inventory arrival dates and exercise as much flexibility as you can in scheduling new installs requiring new product
- Know what products are inbound. Holiday decorators have a tremendous amount of influence as to what clients will buy, so lead with the core high-velocity items that are available in most markets. Top 10 items account for as much as 90% of holiday product sales
- Avoid and discourage special-order requests for hard-to-find products with typically long lead times. Cost of those items will be much higher than normal this year, freight to land is at a premium, and lead times may kill the opportunity before the product arrives, leaving someone holding product that initially was sold
Lean on Us for Holiday Lighting
Ewing is the largest national privately owned green channel wholesaler for holiday greenery and lighting and as such, we value the success and growth of our loyal customers over a good quarterly report. We tend to be one of the best, most reliable late-season suppliers of professional-grade holiday products.
As the 2021 season shapes up to run late, Ewing expects, as usual, to have inventory in stock beyond Black Friday weekend.
We know that product consistency is necessary for contractors and installers, especially those who lease holiday lighting and greenery to their customers instead of selling directly to them. Staying flexible on product preferences and incorporating high-quality alternatives that are readily available into your lighting displays will be the key to keeping your revenue streams moving this season.
Lean on the professionals at your local branch to determine which available holiday products will work best for you this season.