Consumer Alert: Missed Cyber Monday deals? A business expert says don’t worry, there will be more

Consumer Alert: Excess inventory means plenty of deals

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There were three words that made consumers tremble during the pandemic — supply chain issues.  We suffered shortages of everything from toys to toilet paper because of manufacturing slowdowns in China and shipping disruptions across the globe.  One expert told me that those issues are still affecting the economy today, but in a very different way.

You’ll remember in the initial months of the pandemic, much of the world economy came to a stop.  And restarting that stalled global economy caused a domino effect of epic proportions.  Pictures of ports clogged with product filled television screens and the pages of newspapers. The global lockdowns stopped the flow of raw materials, which slowed the production of finished goods. But when those finished goods finally got to a ship, ports could not hire fast enough to move materials to trucks.  And trucking companies didn’t have enough drivers to get product to market. It was a nightmare.

In the meantime, demand was high because consumers were working from home and buying electronics, so businesses stocked up. But when the lockdowns begin to lift, all that inventory spelled trouble for retailers.

“Consumers are not buying that much stuff anymore because they need to go back to work,” said Dr. Chris Tang, Edward R Carter chair of business administration at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.  “So, the retailers, they have a lot of excess inventory they need to get rid of.  So now it is a consumer heaven for this season … This year if you’re looking for computers, televisions, or toys, you’re getting great deals. For example, if you go to Best Buy, you can buy a 65-inch television for less than $500. This is amazing.”

Tang predicts those deep discounts will continue because retailers have so much excess inventory. So, if you missed the Black Friday / Cyber Monday madness, no worries.  He says you’ll likely continue to see deep discounts through December.