Will We Still Have Christmas?

Bronner’s Christmas Paradise requires a lot of labor to run. There’s a 120,000-square-foot store devoted to things Christmas-related and catalog shopping coming in from all over the world.

Bronner’s, headquartered in the modest Michigan town of Frankenmuth, has upwards of 750 staff working at “the world’s largest holiday store” in a typical year.

The situation is very complicated

They’ve battled to get their staff up to approximately 560 people this year, despite the tightest labor force in generations, according to Wayne Bronner, the store’s founder and president.

Bronner raised wages and is now giving unlimited, extra bonus money for Saturday evening and Sunday jobs. Almost everyone who wants a job gets one, according to Bronner.

He’s hoping to get through the next six weeks or so before exhausting his staff.

“This is a one-of-a-kind year. People are simply unavailable and we’re not the only ones who are affected,” Bronner added. “It’s pretty much a pandemic all over the country.”

Many thought the arrival of vaccinations would contribute to a more regular holiday season in the year. Americans believed this one year after the COVID-19 pandemic drove merchants to take exceptional efforts to safeguard their customers and employees from the fatal illness.

However, while economists anticipate strong demand and record retail expenditure this year, the holiday shopping season in 2021 is shaping up to be anything other than ordinary.

Aside from the labor scarcity, retailers are dealing with supply chain bottlenecks, three-decade-high inflation, rising gas, and energy expenses. They’re facing ballooning wage growth and rising criminality, all of which are eating into their earnings.

President Biden asserted his government “is working day and night to keep moving more products faster and enhance the strength and resilience of our distribution networks.”

However, critics pointed out Biden is actually seeking new, destructive policies that would exacerbate the nation’s transport network. His construction package could divert funds to ineffective make-work initiatives.

Biden also stated his Build Back Better spending proposal is anti-inflationary, despite the fact many economists believe the package is constructed in such a way to increase inflation next year.

Labor security

Bronner noted while product and transportation costs have risen, the most difficult aspect of his operation has been labor scarcity. He claims the business needs more employees on the sales floor. There are delays in creating and shipping personalized decorations.

Shops of all sizes are having difficulty filling positions. According to the Associated Press, Target is recruiting 30,000 fewer people this year than usual.

According to the Washington Post, Macy’s is inviting its corporate employees to volunteer for shifts in shops folding clothing and refilling shelves as part of their “Holiday All Hands-On Deck” plan.

Kohl’s is paying up to $400 in signup bonuses, while Amazon is offering up to $3,000 in prizes.