2020 Holiday Inventory Update
There’s no denying that COVID-19 has had a ripple effect throughout the whole of ecommerce. We have seen an acceleration of ecommerce growth since March — as shoppers have been resistant to in-person shopping, brick & mortar stores have turned to online sales, budding entrepreneurs have seized the opportunity to create a business from the comfort of home, and established ecommerce brands have seen a dramatic increase in sales as compared to this time last year.
While this growth has presented incredible opportunities, it has also directly impacted inventory availability. As you’re aware, we’ve seen a global shortage in availability of apparel. Manufacturers who were forced to close their mills at the beginning of the pandemic have thankfully reopened. However, those weeks of closure have put them behind their projected output. Additionally, they have continued to operate at limited capacity in order to maintain social distancing within their facilities, further limiting their production volume.
This means that regardless of the number of each product we order, the manufacturers & distributors of your favorite apparel are simply not able to keep up with demand. Each time we place an order from a vendor, we receive only a percentage of the number of units we request because of global limitations in product availability.
What has CustomCat done to prepare for these expected stock interruptions?
- We have secured a high volume of stock of the following apparel styles & variants:
- Z61, sizes S-3XL (White, Black, Cardinal, Purple, Sport Grey, Military Green Light Grey, Red, Navy, Royal, Dark Heather, & Kelly Green)
- Z65, sizes S-3XL (White, Black, Red, Navy, Royal, Forest Green, Maroon, Sport Grey, Ash, & Dark Heather)
- Z66, sizes S-3XL (White, Black, Red, Navy, Royal, Maroon, Purple, Light Pink, Sport Grey, & Dark Heather)
- We have invested in additional stock of all non-apparel items (drinkware, ornaments, blankets, etc.) & do not expect stock interruptions with these products.
- As previously announced, we have invested in an alternate face mask with a black inner layer for use in the event that our FMA Med/Lg Face Mask goes out of stock.
- Standing orders have been placed with multiple suppliers for high-demand apparel items to ensure we are restocking apparel at the quickest rate possible. We are staying in close communication with all suppliers on expected restocking dates.
- Coming soon, we will be releasing an updated order dashboard to include out of stock (OOS) variant tracking (including expected restocking date) & email/dashboard notifications to more effectively alert you when products you are selling have gone out of stock.
So what can you do?
- If you are selling apparel, focus on primary colors & standard sizes. The less common a variant, the more likely it is to go out of stock at some point this holiday season — mills have prioritized production of their best-selling items.
- Add non-apparel items to your store. We do not anticipate supply interruptions of any non-apparel items.
- Prepare your listings by including a disclaimer regarding product substitutions. This allows you the freedom to substitute a similar garment if your preferred item is out of stock & get your orders to your customers as quickly as possible.
We are doing everything in our power to maximize our inventory & prepare our production facility for a record-breaking holiday season. We know 2020 is a year like no other, but we believe that — with a little preparation — we can make it the best holiday season you’ve ever had despite its unique challenges.