Here’s what you may not find on store shelves this holiday season

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — If you’re taking a gamble and waiting until the last minute to purchase any gifts this holiday season, you should pay attention to what experts are telling us.

Given the shortage of shipping containers and a sluggish backlog in the supply chain, retailers are now prioritizing which items they want to make sure will be on store shelves in the weeks ahead.

The good news: Analysts say retailers will be stocked for Black Friday this week. But past that, there’s a lot of uncertainty.

“Given how important Black Friday is to retailers, everything will be on the shelves,” said Jack Buffington, program director for supply chain management at the University of Denver.

With an estimated three million shipping containers stuck at sea, retailers are opting to fill their remaining massive steel boxes with smaller, more pliable items to maximize space.

“I think it could be brand by brand,” Buffington added.

Experts at the University of Denver say it’s anyone’s guess which items will actually make it onto store shelves in time, but add that you shouldn’t be surprised if what you want isn’t there.

“I think it’s always electronics. That’s always at the top of everyone’s lists. From a clothing standpoint it looks fine,” Buffington said.

Ikea, known popularly as the “compact store” is applying its business method to help jam-pack lightweight items such as pillows, plates and children’s toys into its shipping containers — over much larger products.

To make sure the item you want will be available, experts suggest the easy method of checking a store’s inventory.

“What’s really good about that is you can get a decent insight to see how much inventory they have,” Buffington explained.

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