As a publication, we plan our articles well in advance. And, for the last few months of each year, we have a rhythm. We know when to write our Thanksgiving recipes, when to add our chili recipes (hello Halloween!) And when to publish our gift guides.
If you are Amazon and Target, you know exactly when your Black Friday promotions will start and when your marketing campaigns will be launched to support them.
If you are a small business, you know that Small Business Saturday is when you will be boosting sales as well as various open houses in late November and December.
All of this is now disrupted.
Editorial calendars are thrown out the window and retailers large and small alike look to the reality that if customers wait until the end of November or December to shop, they may find empty shelves. Supply chain disruptions are converging with the biggest gift-buying season of the year, and headlines around the world are warning consumers of the looming stress of not being able to find the gifts they want.
Booksellers are waiting for replenishments of books, which are hampered by a shortage of paper; Candle makers find it difficult to create new inventory with a limited supply of glass, which means they have no containers to fill. Sea containers stay longer in port because there are not enough dockworkers to empty them, creating a backlog of ships waiting at sea to unload their supplies.
It’s a mess on so many levels.
This is why Amazon announced that Black Friday sales have already started and that Target is running pre-Black Friday deals through October 12 with more sales to follow, all before their typical Black Friday sales even. do not start. Welcome to âsale seasonâ because the idea of ââa one-day big sale just doesn’t match today’s reality. Expect many other retailers, large and small, to follow suit.
Breathe deeply. Its good. There is no need to panic.
All of this to say that it might be a good idea to make your vacation list and complete it NOW. Shop your local stores (they need you more than ever; please buy local) and order your greeting cards. If you see something you like, buy it. He may not be there if you wait. Maybe with the extra effort required at the start of this season, we could all find that we will be a little more relaxed in December? It would be a ray of hope.
For us, members of the StyleBlueprint editorial team, we are moving our vacation listings by a month to the beginning of November, and even that gives us pause. Will these lists be published soon enough? Will they be of use to our readers and the small businesses these lists support? We do not know. We know it’s better than waiting until December as we’ve been doing for the past 12 years.
We go into the next few months looking to support small brands, local businesses, and you, our readers. We’re going to navigate all of this together, and if the shelves are empty, remember that at the end of the day, gifts are like nuggets on a cupcake in a relationship. They’re fun and bubbly, but it’s really all that goes into the recipe: the time spent together, the memories created, and the grace received and given.
Well done to all of us for navigating together the coming months of expectations and new challenges!
PS If you need to shop online, here is our online buying guide dedicated to supporting small local and southern brick and mortar businesses.