KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) -Some people are shopping earlier this holiday season in hopes to weather the supply chain storm.

“We have this perfect storm. The supply is dropping, demand is going up and as a result, we’re seeing a lot of mismatches,” said UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dr. Saravanan Kesavan.

The battle continues as businesses both big and small begin to bounce back from pandemic lows. “They’ve been stretched and pulled and twisted,” said Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Craig Hill.

Experts say the two-pronged problem starts with supply chain problems.

The owner of Heels to Hogs boutique, Hannah Herring experiences supply chain shortages first hand. She says, “You’ll order something and then they’ll contact you and say hey we’re out of that, it’s going to be back-ordered.”

Kesavan said lack of workers only makes the problem worse. He says, “It’s actually going to be hard for retailers to run the store.”

He advises consumers shopping on Black Friday or at all this holiday season to come with a list of backup items. “This year consumers have to be ready with the top two or three choices.”

He also said consumers should consider shopping before Black Friday or Small Business Saturday.

Kinston Belk store manager, Jeffrey Williford said he’s seen plenty of people shopping early this year, “Just making sure that they got that special and really we’ve been working hard getting out a lot of stock that’s came a little bit later.”

As busy post Thanksgiving shopping days approach, Hill reminds people that patience is a virtue. “It’s extremely important right now to recognize the stress that all these businesses are under and be kind,” he said.

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