Where are the clothes? Shoppers find store shelves weak

Shoppers are ready to restock their closets for fall and winter, but many are asking, “Where’s all the clothes?”

Kristen Sterling was trying to do some school shopping at TJ Maxx. Inside, she found a much smaller group than she had seen before.

“I was looking for tools for children, as well as for a teenager and a school-age child,” Stirling said. “I find that there are not many clothes.”

Shoppers across the country find half-empty clothes racks and shoe racks of common sizes in many stores.

Clothing items in the two TJ Maxx stores we checked were few, and a third of the Burlington store we checked was closed with a divider and used as a store.

High school sophomore Mia Dressel was looking for a homecoming dress with her grandmother, but they were disappointed.

“All the dresses were really short or really long,” Dressel said. She said she had no better luck at the mall.

Shopping malls and supermarkets are out of stock

Retail stores everywhere, department stores included, are dealing with product shortages as the holiday shopping season begins.

According to Kerry Byrne, CEO of freight brokerage Total Quality Logistics, that’s all due to pent-up demand after the pandemic, combined with supply chain disruptions.

“What we are seeing is supply chain disruption that sometimes occurs when there is limited capacity,” Byrne said. “But now, with the labor shortage, that shortage has just exacerbated.”

Byrne said the shortage of factory workers and truck drivers, along with back-ups for cargo ships from abroad, means shelves may not be full for the holidays.

The CEO of TJ Maxx and Marshall’s parent company, TJX, recently told analysts they don’t have many products they’d like, but they think it’s a short-term problem.

A TJX spokesperson said shoppers should check out the company’s many stores, all of which have different brands, sizes and stocks.

“As an out-of-price retailer, we offer great value for an ever-changing selection of generic items at 20-60% lower than full retail price (including divisions, specialties, and top online retailers) on similar merchandise.

Unlike other types of retailers who buy seasonally, we have new merchandise arriving in our stores several times a week, with each delivery containing thousands of items.

This ever-changing selection creates a “treasure hunt” shopping experience that our customers will enjoy. Each store’s assortment is different, so if our customers can’t find what they were looking for in one of our stores, they may find it in another.”

TJX statement

Burlington’s CEO told Wall Street that freight and freight costs have risen this year, forcing the company to be smarter about how much inventory it can order.

But this does mean that customers may want to start their holiday shopping early, so they don’t waste your money.


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