Customers should shop locally and plan ahead to avoid disappointment as a result of global supply chain challenges, a local TD has said. Dublin Mid West Deputy Emer Higgins said: “Globally we’re seeing the knock-on effect that issues in the supply chain are causing and I think this could be apparent coming up to the Christmas period when demand is typically so huge for goods and services. “More recently we’ve seen how lack of supply can lead to price gouging on certain items and that is last thing anyone wants to see happening.
“So, I would really be encouraging consumers to take a reasonable approach to supply issues and start thinking ahead for the holiday season and buy well in advance to prevent any disappointment. I think this will help avoid that level of panic as we get closer to the Christmas rush. “The advice is that popular goods such as toys, Christmas trees, electronics, clothing and even car parts are particularly feeling the effects of global supply constraints, so if you’re ordering anything you need to be doing so early and be prepared for delays in the worst instance. “The Department of Enterprise have confirmed to me that many Irish retailers, in preparation for Brexit, had begun to source more locally and this has placed them in a good position to mitigate some of the impacts of current supply chain challenges. The industry has also said that while there are challenges there will not be empty shelves this Christmas.
“Buying Irish and shopping local is arguably more important than ever before. Many small retailers were devastated by the pandemic, but there were also those who were kept afloat by a renewed support for shopping locally, in addition to Government supports for businesses. “Research by Local Enterprise Offices showed 66% of Irish consumers bought goods or services locally, to support their local economy, as a result of seeing the Look for Local campaign or similar shop local themed campaigns during the summer. “Research also showed 66% of consumers said they intended to continue to spend more on local goods and services in the coming months.
“Last year, Local Enterprise Offices approved over 13,000 Trading Online Vouchers which enabled small businesses to set up an online trading presence. This was up over 950% on the previous year (1,218) and helped small businesses to keep their virtual doors open, when the physical ones were shut. “As we head into the Christmas season, buying from small Irish businesses will not only help the local economy but it’s a better way of avoiding the supply chain delays being experienced by many of the big global retailers who majorly cash-in over the Christmas period. “If there is a silver lining in all of this, it’s that businesses are increasingly turning to Irish suppliers to combat the delays they are experiencing from international suppliers so I hope that this Christmas Irish consumers will plan ahead, buy goods in plenty of time but most importantly remain faithful to the buy Irish campaign and support the small local retailers on their doorstep,” Deputy Higgins said.