With the coronavirus now surging in countries at the heart of the supply chain such as Vietnam and Singapore, we should expect the problems we saw in the past year during the holidays. The Delta variant of the COVID-19 spreading worldwide might delay the reopening of popular clothing and apparel factories. At the same time, other industries that are critical for merry-makers might also continue being disrupted. Combined with the existing problems caused by the previous variants, shoppers and retailers are likely to encounter more challenges as the pandemic continues to hit the supply chains hard. Here is what you need to know going forward and why you need to start your holiday shopping earlier.
Reason for disruption of retail manufacturing
The initial defenses against the virus in East Asia, where many products originate from, was a source of hope for many countries across the globe. However, the surge in infections lately is demoralizing. Factories are shutting down or reducing the number of workers on-site to minimize the possibility of increased infections. This means that the retail supply chain is likely to experience some delays. This rise in the number of positive cases has damaged the movement of goods and increased costs. It adds the number of troubles that the supply chains have been experiencing in the past few years, with the rising tensions between China and the US and the subsequent manufacturing movement away from China. With Vietnam being the second-largest shoe manufacturing nation to the United States behind China, the rising rates of infection is a problem that may delay the fulfillment of customer orders. The solution to this problem is for the retailers to order products early enough. The reliance on these countries will affect the holiday as industries get choked as most retailers will hurt the customer. As we enter the holiday season, pressure will increase for customers and retailers.
Vaccine inequality is still a significant source of concern
Vaccine inequality, which is the unequal distribution of vaccines worldwide, is becoming a key challenge to the world. It is threatening the global economy. This is also affecting supply chains and the movement of goods from the manufacturer to the consumer. As vaccinations continue delaying, the problem will persist. As the rich nations, mainly the western ones, continue their vaccination campaigns, the poor ones continue suffering from the delays occasioned by the virus. Sadly, countries such as Vietnam that are key manufacturers of some of the products in high demand during the pandemic are struggling to vaccinate their citizens.
The slow vaccination in these East and South Asian nations that are key manufacturers means that it will take more time for the virus to subside, and the Delta variant may make things worse. In Vietnam, for example, only 1.9% of the total population has received a full dose of the vaccine, while less than 15% has received at least one dose, according to the data by Our World Data.
Although the pandemic is currently being addressed up to some point, the current efforts are not enough to help address the problems that might occur during the holiday.