School is starting soon, and given the return of in-person lessons, teachers and students need to begin shopping for various school supplies. However, for the national retailers that have been hit by the coronavirus and the restrictions associated with it, the high number of buyers is an overwhelming issue that they currently cannot solve. According to Jackson (2021), “an estimated $37.1 billion is being spent on back-to-school supplies this year, up from $33.9 billion in 2020” (para. 2). These numbers signify the increased demand for these goods and much higher prices.
A year ago, the demand for school supplies was much lower due to COVID-19 restrictions and online lessons, so manufacturing companies decided to produce fewer goods (Graph B: suppliers respond to the decreased demand by bringing a lesser quantity supplied to market). Nevertheless, this year, the situation has changed, and now national retailers have to increase and accelerate the supply of stationery products as quickly as possible. At the same time, with the increased demand, people are ready to pay more for any supplies available (Graph A: higher demand increases market quantity and price). Moreover, this situation is an advantage for some local school supplies stores that can begin to produce their own products that will be in high demand.
It is difficult to predict the way this problem will be solved due to several reasons. First, retailers have difficulty finding workers, which reduces their production and delays shipments (Jackson, 2021). Second, those national online retailers that have enough goods in the stock offer to deliver them within two to three weeks, which does not suit buyers. Finally, new COVID-19 restrictions may appear soon and return online lessons, which will immediately reduce the demand for stationery products.
Jackson, J. (2021). Another shortage: Back-to-school shopping gets complicated. Fox 8 Cleveland WJW. Web.