Gift cards allow for digital delivery, which can circumvent shipping logistics completely. And there’s little to no risk of a gift card being out of stock.
But while gift cards and certificates will be less of a headache for the gift giver, they could present limitations for the recipient — particularly if empty shelves persist into January. Those you give gift cards to might have to hang onto them for a while before cashing them in.
“Consumers are going to have to be patient in terms of redeeming their gift cards,” Duber-Smith says.
Wait until the very last minute
If you’re not the type of person who gets stressed out by waiting until the very, very, very last minute, there’s one more path to securing presents — and at a discount.
Super Saturday is the nickname for the last Saturday before Christmas. This year, that’s Dec. 18. Cullen expects stores to host sales on this major shopping day, just as they do every other year.
Last year, department stores, makeup brands, shoe stores and more offered discounts as high as 70% off.
If you go this route, be aware that you’ll likely need to go to the store or order online for store pickup. And inventory may be low, reducing your choices.