Despite reports of a looming shortage of Christmas trees for the 2021 holiday season, major industry trading groups have said consumers only need to remember two things: plan ahead. ‘advance and save.
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While finding the perfect tree shouldn’t be a problem, the American Christmas Tree Association, who represents the sellers of artificial trees, warned consumers that 2021 was not the year to procrastinate over the landscaping of these halls or wait for retailer sales to do so.
“It is possible that these sales will not take place, or that when they do, inventory will be limited,” the association said. indicated on its website, urging people to find their trees early, both alive and man-made.
Meanwhile, supply chain disruptions, fueled, but not limited to, by COVID-19 shipping backlogs, mean some U.S. retailers are raising holiday decor prices by up to 25%. to “keep pace with skyrocketing shipping costs,” while warning that congested overseas channels have “tied the distribution of ports in China to cargo yards in Chicago,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The bottom line is that some trees might sell out early because reinforcements are not guaranteed, the Journal reported.
The prices of live and artificial trees have in fact increased steadily over the past six years, ACTA said, citing a U.S. Department of Agriculture Report 2021 which found that the costs of living trees have nearly doubled since 2015 and that artificial trees are expected to cost up to 30% more in 2021 than a year ago.
“The economic instability caused by COVID-19 and the impacts of extreme weather conditions have affected all parts of the global and US supply chain, and Christmas trees are no exception,” the association declared, attributing the cost spikes to extreme weather events in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, as well as supply chain congestion and shipping container shortages.
Mac Harman, CEO of Balsam Hill, based in Redwood City, Calif., Which sells mid-to-high-end trees online and in-store, told the Journal that he expects the company’s U.S. shipping costs to quadruple this year from 2020, reaching $ 45 million to $ 50 million on projected sales of $ 200 million to $ 250 million.
According to the Journal, the supply of live trees in 2020 was limited in large part due to light sapling plantations – which can take up to a decade to reach market size – since the 2008 financial crisis, but the National Association of Christmas Trees, who represents arborists, said availability for 2021 shouldn’t be an issue.
“We have never been short of Christmas trees”, Tim O’Connor, executive director of the association, said to the newspaper.
According to ACTA, an estimated 85% of American homes that had a tree last Christmas used an artificial one, up from 46% in 1992 and fueling an annual industry of $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion.
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