With shoppers finding much of what they want online, the future of the brick-and-mortar store can seem bleak. Such major retailers as J.C. Penney, Lowe’s, Gap and Family Dollar, among many others, have announced plans to close at least some stores across the United States this year.
Add school supplies to the list of industries experiencing supply chain disruptions this year. But unlike other disruptions – stores won’t completely run out of items. Instead – experts predict that consumers may not be able to get exactly what they want when it comes to sneakers, backpacks, and other goods. "What we will likely see is more limited choice and lower stock levels towards the end of the back to school period," said Neil Saunders, retail analyst and managing director at GlobalRetail Data in an interview with USA Today.
In the past year, tumultuous world events have repeatedly triggered disruption of the global supply chain, causing many to wonder whether the current emphasis on Just In Time inventory practices has gone too far. In their recent New York Times article (June 1, 2021), Peter Goodman and Niraj Chokshi state, “As the pandemic has hampered factory operations and sown chaos in global shipping, many economies around the world have been bedeviled by shortages of a vast range of goods — from electronics to lumber to clothing. In a time of extraordinary upheaval in the global economy, Just In Time is running late.”
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