Small and mid-sized businesses say supply chain challenges are their top concern this holiday season, followed closely by inflation, according to a survey by DHL Express U.S., released this month.
DHL surveyed managers and executives at U.S. businesses to determine their expectations for this holiday season as well as early 2023, especially in light of lasting 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% list inflation as their main concern—more than double the number who said so last year, according to DHL. To offset rising costs, 60% of respondents said their biggest priority this year is raising the prices of their products or services. What’s more, 78% said they have already increased their product pricing due to inflation—and by quite a bit: 17% have increased their pricing by more than 20%; 22% have increased their pricing by 11%-20%; and 39% said they have increased their pricing by 1%-10%.
Most businesses are expecting big changes one way or the other this holiday: roughly half of respondents said they expect either a considerable increase or a considerable decrease in business this peak season compared to 2021. And they also said they’d go to great lengths to ensure a successful peak: 44% said they would volunteer as Santa at the mall if it meant their business would exceed their holiday sales goals; 21% said they would live in the Grinch’s cave; another 21% said they would spend Christmas week in the airport; and 14% said they would dress as an elf for a year—again, if it meant their company would have a successful holiday season.
Looking ahead to the New Year, respondents said there are some bright spots on the horizon. Nearly half (45%) said their businesses will benefit from global expansion in 2023, and 30% said they expect the Inflation Reduction Act, passed this year, to be most beneficial to their businesses in the year ahead.