Bad news for fans of the plastic Christmas tree. It looks like we are facing an artificial Christmas tree shortage this holiday season.
Nothing beats the real thing, but some of us do like the artificial Christmas trees. If your family was planning to pick one up for the upcoming holiday season, you better get it quick - the global supply chain crisis is threatening a shortage.
Here's something you may not have known: artificial Christmas trees don't come from the North Pole, they come from China. I know, mind blown, right?
According to our news partners at KWTX, the global supply chain shortage is creating a big problem for suppliers like James Li, the supplier for National Tree Company. That's the company that sells Target and Amazon in China. Li says his factory has an artificial Christmas tree backlog of about $3 million. That's about 150 containers that are waiting to be shipped out.
Many of the ships that are used to get those trees to the U.S. have not returned, forcing Li to rent storage space for trees that would already be here in the U.S. Li says that if things don't change quickly, many of us here in the States will not be able to buy an artificial tree this year.
What makes this even worse is the inflation we are dealing with on top of the shortages. Chris Butler, National Tree Company Chief Executive Officer, says getting containers shipped is a struggle.
“We’re fighting against toy manufacturers, electronics manufacturers, other manufacturers to get the containers, and we’re having to pay a lot more for those containers," he said. "Because of that, we’re having to pass on some of those price increases to the consumer.”
Butler says that it costs about 10 times more this year to get containers shipped compared to last year, and as a result, prices for artificial trees will be about 20% to 25% higher.
Butler says we could be out of trees by Thanksgiving.
The best part of an artificial tree is not having to worry about buying a new tree each year. This may be the year none of that applies.