Chicago-area retailer Abt Electronics is snapping up brand-name refrigerators from suppliers in countries like South Korea and building reserves of flat-screen TVs.
Appliance makers are still catching up from factory closures earlier this year, said co-President Mike Abt, who is carrying about 20% more of those items than last year.
“My inventory is up, finally, in appliances but my business is up more” because stay-at-home recommendations mean refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines get more use, Abt said. The family-owned retailer also has 27% more flat-screen TVs in stock.
“What if we have another spike in COVID cases and things lock back down again this fall?” said Tim Jordan, who sells home decor products on Amazon. He is trying to get six months’ worth of inventory, versus his typical three.
At the port serving the greater New York area, shipments linked to IKEA soared 380%, while those for spirits maker Diageo and cosmetics group L’Oreal rose 91% and 25.5%, respectively, Panjiva said. IKEA, Target, Diageo and L’Oreal, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The holiday lineup at Walmart includes evergreen products for homebound shoppers: loungewear, outdoor grills, pet beds, laptop computers, and exercise equipment. The world’s biggest retailer did not immediately respond to a question about details of import strategy.
Many large retailers are starting holiday promotions before Halloween as a hedge against upheavals that could cause consumers to snap wallets shut.
Exploding Kittens’ McGinnis, who will launch a new title on Oct. 4 as part of Target’s holiday toy promotion, said her biggest worry is running out of games. (Additional reporting by Jonathan Saulin London and Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)