Poll: Delays and inflation top concerns this holiday season

According to a DHL Express US survey released this month, small and medium-sized businesses say supply chain challenges are their top concern this holiday season, closely followed by inflation. DHL surveyed US corporate managers and executives to determine their expectations for this holiday season and early 2023, especially given the ongoing pandemic-related challenges, labor shortages and record-high inflation. With more than 2,000 responses, the survey found that 46% of managers are most concerned about supply chain delays this holiday, while 35% cite inflation as their top concern – more than double last year, according to DHL. To offset rising costs, 60% of respondents said their top priority this year is to increase the price of their product or service. In addition, 78% said they have already increased their product prices due to inflation – by quite a bit: 17% have increased their prices by more than 20%; 22% have increased their prices by 11% to 20%; and 39% reported increasing their prices by 1% to 10%. Most businesses are anticipating big shifts in one direction or another this holiday, with around half of those surveyed saying they expect either a significant increase or a significant decrease in business this peak season compared to 2021. And they also said they would go to great lengths to ensure a successful peak: 44% said they would volunteer as Santa at the mall if it meant their store exceeded their Christmas sales goals; 21% said they would live in the Grinch cave; another 21% said they would spend Christmas week at the airport; and 14% said they would dress up as an elf for a year – again if it meant their company had a successful holiday season. As the New Year approaches, respondents said there are some bright spots on the horizon. Almost half (45%) said their companies will benefit from global expansion in 2023, and 30% said they expect the law passed this year to curb inflation will benefit their businesses in the coming year company will be most beneficial.

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