EUFAULA, Ala. (WRBL) — As local businesses prepare for the holidays, they are warning customers: if you do not buy your presents early, you may have some empty space beneath the Christmas tree. Eufaula boutique Southern Charm has been preparing for the holidays since the beginning of 2021; despite the preparation, they are facing inventory shortages.
Southern Charm has Christmas trees on display and holiday music to greet shoppers. However, on a national scale, supply chain issues from 2020 have persisted. Corey Kirkland, owner of Southern Charm, says availability of product and businesses’ inability to re-stock are causing frustration for business owners.
“It’s kind of crazy because it looks good in here and I know it looks good in here, it’s just not my vision,” Kirkland said. “I would say we got about 40% of our Christmas items in. I ordered as early as January this year. So we really kind of had to make do — combine some themes, just regroup as the year went on as we saw what we were going to get in and what was not going to come in at all.”
Kirkland says her boutique typically orders from as many local and regional suppliers as they can. This year, supporting those businesses has been especially difficult as those suppliers are also dealing with inventory issues. Kirkland says many businesses are experiencing similar roadblocks.
“We just want to be able to offer the best that we can, especially in a small town, so that our customers can have the best of what’s out there. When we have a plan and we can’t see it come to fruition — it’s a little bit disappointing.”
Following shipping delays last holiday season — more shoppers may feel inclined to do their shopping in person. Kirkland says Eufaula businesses saw an influx of community support last holiday season and the window art on her store says, “There’s no place like local for the holiday,” in an effort to encourage shopping local again this year.
Kirkland says in order to avoid having an empty space beneath your Christmas tree — if you see something you like, buy it now before it’s no longer on the shelf.