Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday season has officially arrived and Christmas will be here before we know it.

That means Christmas shopping is happening across the Northland and the Better Business Bureau says there is good news for shoppers this year due to some retailers facing an excess inventory problem.

They say retailers have 21 percent more inventory than they had a year ago, totaling $732 billion and there is concern that their profit margins will be taking a hit.

The Better Business Bureau believes part of the problem has to do with a shift in what consumers are buying as the pandemic eases its grip, with money being spent on travel instead of things like clothing and appliances. Therefore, the way retailers will need to eliminate inventory is to offer deeply discounted prices.

Of course, there are also inflation issues as people are spending more on things like gas, which means less money for other things. As retailers navigate this tricky situations, shoppers can look for ways to take advantage of the situation.

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The Better Business Bureau says here's how shoppers can take advantage of the inventory surplus:

  • Find out what chains have surplus inventory. Walmart, Target, Kohl's, and Gap are just a few big box stores that reported surplus inventory this year. These are a few good places to start shopping for deals.
  • Research what inventory is overstocked. Most stores are dealing with a surplus of a variety of items, including electronics, home furniture, appliances, toys, and apparel.
  • If you see a good deal on an item you need, don't wait. Retailers are still struggling to find the balance between excess items and shortages.
  • Be willing to search for the best deals. Hit the store mentally prepared to spend a little extra time searching.
  • Be alert to good deals at stores you frequent. It's easier to spot a good deal at a store where you know what normal prices look like. Also, check online or the store's app for "online only" deals.
  • Check out smaller businesses too. Big box stores aren't the only retailers dealing with overstock issues and shopping local is always best.

They also advise all shoppers to stick with their budget and be careful not to overspend or buy something they don't need just because it's on sale.

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