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Are There Gifts You Can’t Get?

December 22, 2010

I finished my Christmas shopping last week. Finished to me, means wrapped and under the tree, and stocking filled (or ready to be filled on the magical eve of Christmas). I sat for an hour and ten minutes at Lord & Taylor while 4 gifts of mine were being wrapped. I got to watch all the ladies (no men in sight)  fuss with the coat check gal (this coat check area is next to the wrapping station) about the lack of service. I was NOT going to complain as my gifts were being wrapped and I wanted no disruption created by my mouth. I was surprised that in this huge store there was only one gift wrap person not to mention one coat check person. But times are tough and everyone scales back. In light of that I was surprised when I read an article in the USA Today Newspaper that spoke of the Hot Gift Items that are Mostly Sold Out.

A spokesman for the National Retail Federation said that this is not the year for “consumers to play chicken with retailers.” Retailers that got burned the last two holidays with extra inventory were more conservative when ordering for this year, thus the shelves may be emptier than expected. One in three consumers surveyed this month by Consumer Reports said an item that they wanted was out of stock. And 70% said those out-of-stock items were advertised as being on sale. Among the hard to find items are the following:

  • Kindle 3, at $139, is not available on Amazon.com. The website advises, “Due to overwhelming customer demand, this product is out of stock.” The site points our that the $189 Kindle is still available.
  • Kohl’s is sold out of a KitchenAid mixer on sale for $140.
  • Old Navy’s $5 pajama sale was so popular that all that is left online are large sizes.
  • A $498 Coach satchel is sold out everywhere. (glad that wasn’t on my list)
  • LL Bean’s $150 Bean Boots and $54 fleeced lined flannel shirts for men and women are out.

I’m just lucky that on one corner is a Rite Aid and the other corner a Duane Reade in case I decide that my perfectly wrapped presents are not enough and decide to last-minute shop. At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we are still taking appointments for last-minute tax reviews before the year’s end. Give us a call today at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. Happy shopping and Happy Holidays! See you soon.

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