ORLANDO, Fla. - Experts say this holiday shopping season is going to be very different and chaotic. For example, Black Friday deals are moving up on the calendar a lot earlier than, well, Black Friday.
It may be the first week of November, but the holiday shopping season is here, and some are already buying gifts for the "most wonderful time of the year." Others aren't quite so prepared.
"Not even ready for it, do not want to be ready for it, not yet," said Pam Rojas, who lives in Winter Park.
Jose Hernandez, who lives in Kissimmee, is making his list and checking it twice, "for my kids, the wife, mom, brothers, sisters."
But experts predict this year will be different than previous ones.
"Chaos. To be honest with you, you’re going to have chaos," said retail expert Britt Beemer.
Beemer said that's in part because of supply chain issues and short-staffed stores.
"You got this vicious circle going around where the retailer is scared to death to advertise, the consumer doesn’t know when they go in the store if they’ll have it, if they go in some stores, there won’t be any help at all," Beemer added.
Some stores are opting to spread out the shopping by offering Black Friday deals early. Walmart is offering its "Black Friday Deals for Days" events all month long both in-store and online. Early access to Macy’s Black Friday sales started this week. Target started offering deals last month.
"They’re advertising early bird specials or Black Friday deals but they’re not the early bird specials you used to see. They’re going to say they’re Black Friday deals but they’re going to be Black Friday deals without the quantity so in case you get there and they don’t have any, they can say well we never got them in," said Beemer.
BLACK FRIDAY: Stores closed, open on Thanksgiving Day
Some shoppers said they’re just going to wing it.
"My kids are all grown so they get what they get."
But don’t wing it too long this year. Experts say if you see a gift you want now, grab it.
It’s also worth noting that in years past a lot of stores have now started to stay open on Thanksgiving. This year, many stores are closed on Thanksgiving Day.
A lot of retailers closed last year because of COVID, and it looks like they’re going to keep it that way this year.
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