These are the biggest holiday shipping questions for retailers

Weary retailers are warning holiday shoppers to be prepared to buy online early, as delivery issues brought about by hurricane-ravaged Southern California remain an issue.

Most of the operations within supply chain distribution centers are up and running, and some customers might have already received their shipments, said Virginia Maviglio, CEO of the California Retailers Association. However, hundreds of thousands are still displaced or impacted by the aftermath of the deadliest wildfire in California history.

Maviglio said while she is aware that a lot of these customers will find it easier to order in or have a “last minute trip” to the store, she is trying to encourage shoppers to start early to avoid all of the affected retailers going out of business.

Many shoppers will get packages from 2018 holiday campaigns, so they will not have received everything, she said.

“The California retailers’ desire is to get products out and get goods in for the holidays,” Maviglio said. “This is about community and everybody needs a little holiday cheer.”

Meanwhile, other supply chain issues are also cropping up, from a dispute between the Ivanka Trump brand and Macy’s to UPS concerns over settling in new cities faster. In the latter case, a new CEO has said the company would have more to say after the Thanksgiving weekend. “Please note that UPS has not publicly discussed this matter or responded to requests for comment,” the company said in a statement to The Washington Post.

For the first time in several years, the peak period for UPS — the busiest weekend of the year for the company — falls in November instead of December. There are several reasons for the shift — more deliveries from Amazon will occur in November this year, in addition to delivery estimates expected to be a bit lower, according to analyst estimates. UPS did not respond to a request for comment.

Macy’s didn’t respond to a request for comment about its planned deliveries, but a spokesman for the Ivanka Trump brand said in a statement to The Washington Post that the brand has experienced “minimal to no disruption in product delivery.” The spokesman added: “The best news for consumers during the holiday season is that sales are actually accelerating because orders were placed well in advance, whereas during the launch period several years ago, due to supply chain disruptions, there were no many deliveries to customers.”

— Patricia Hurtado

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