Bookstores warn customers of supply chain delays and encourage early purchases

As the holiday shopping season approaches, many bookstores are doing their best to manage customer expectations by issuing alerts about the supply chain and expected shipping delays. Continuing with last year’s American Booksellers Association theme “October is the New December,” the booksellers urge customers to buy as early as possible in order to get popular book titles as holiday gifts.

that of San Francisco City Lights booksellers and publishers wrote in his October 26 newsletter: “The publishing industry at all levels is experiencing a massive downturn due to supply chain shortages. So it is very important that you give some serious thought to ordering the books you may be thinking about for Christmas presents right now. We do our best to stock up early and in much larger quantities, but we cannot promise that titles will be replaced quickly in some cases.

Katie, assistant manager of the bookstore at Malaprop bookstore / café in Asheville, NC, wrote in their Oct. 23 newsletter that “the supply chain is a mess right now. We are experiencing and expecting serious delays this year. In all likelihood they will be much worse than in 2020. ”Encouraging shoppers to shop early, she wrote:“ We are desperately trying to stock up, but even with our wizarding book buyers, we can’t guess what will be. the “hot headline” of 2021 and that headline may hit our shelves before you do. come here.”

Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Bookstore Books are magic wrote in an Oct. 20 newsletter that they encourage customers to place Hanukkah orders by Nov. 1 and Christmas orders by Dec. 1, stating that they “cannot guarantee that packages placed after these dates will arrive before the holidays “due to warnings from the USPS that 2-day priority shipping” could take up to 2 weeks to arrive during the holiday rush. ” The store wrote, “From paper and printing shortages, to shipping delays and understaffed warehouses, the effects of the pandemic are still being felt around the world, and it is affecting us too! So we ask anyone who is considering giving books as gifts this year to start thinking and ordering now.

The same urgency was expressed by Webster Groves, Missouri Bookstore The Roman neighbor in their October 22 newsletter, which encouraged customers to shop for holiday books early and said, “The supply chain is even more disrupted this year due to COVID-related labor shortages in local businesses. publishers’ warehouses, print capacity limitations and shipping issues. All of this means potential stockouts and order delays. “

Angela María Spring, owner of Washington, DC’s Duende District Bookstore, wrote in the October 14 store newsletter that “October is your last month to order gifts online reliably and be sure to receive them by December” and “The Big New Book You Are Passionate About may not be available to you. until New Years. Spring encouraged customers to ask the store’s booksellers for backlist recommendations via email or social media.

Gainesville, Florida Books of the Third House, which is currently closed to the public and only processes orders by mail, posted on Instagram on October 30 that “[l]a lot of books are seriously delayed ”due to supply chain issues. The store will close to new orders for 2021 in a month’s time to give staff “time to go through them all.”

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