Breaking News
More () »

What experts are saying about the holiday shopping season this year

Shoppers will see smaller discounts and will struggle to find the products they want, but a Portland economist said he expects it to be a good season for businesses.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Don't expect holiday discounts to be quite as steep as years past. That’s the bottom line from Adobe Digital Insights, which studies 1 trillion data points and surveys 400 U.S. retailers.

"For us, it’s been striking to see the level of inflation that’s affecting holiday season discounts," said Vivek Pandya, lead insights analyst for Adobe Digital Insights. Pandya said shoppers typically expect discounts of 10-30% starting the week of Thanksgiving. But he said they're seeing discounts this year in the range of 5-25%.

Whether shopping online or in the store, holiday shoppers are also likely to find less product. "We’re seeing out-of-stock notification rates up 172% relative to pre-pandemic norms," Pandya said.

RELATED: Best Buy releases Black Friday plans, early deals this month

The company found that products most likely to be out of stock include apparel, sporting goods, baby products and electronics.

The ships waiting to unload off the coast of California are a visible sign of supply chain problems this year, which will play a role in the lack of discounts, according to Adobe.

Read the Adobe forecast

Bill Conerly, a Portland-based economist, said he thinks 2021 will be a strong season for businesses.

"I think it’s going to be a good holiday season for the stores," Conerly said. "People have money. They’ve paid down their credit card bill using stimulus payments, so I think there will be plenty of buying."

RELATED: Amazon joins Target in early holiday shopping deals promotion

Conerly also said he expects the supply chain challenges may limit people's buying options this holiday season.

"There is still a lot of stuff getting into the country from overseas and being shipped around within the country," Conerly said. "But what the supply chain problems mean is that if you have something in particular that you want, you may not find it in your size or your color."

Have a comment or story idea for reporter Pat Dooris? Email him at pdooris@kgw.com.

More KGW reporter stories: 

Before You Leave, Check This Out