Holiday Season Moves Into High Gear But Challenges Remain

FILE - Black Friday shoppers wear face masks and gloves during the coronavirus pandemic as they leave the Uniqlo store along Fifth Avenue, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, in New York. Retailers are expected to usher in the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, with bigger crowds than last year in a closer step toward normalcy. But the fallout from the pandemic continues to weigh on businesses and shoppers' minds. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(AP) — Shoppers buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings are returning to stores and splurging on all types of items. But the big question is how much will supply shortages, higher prices and staffing issues dampen shoppers’ mood this holiday season. Shoppers, already fatigued with pandemic-induced social distancing policies and other setbacks, may get grumpy if they can’t find the help they need at the stores, or can’t find their top choice item. They may also be disappointed by some of the skimpy holiday discounts. Still, don’t write off the resilience of shoppers who have shown signs they want to celebrate the holidays after muted celebrations last year.


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