Experts encourage early holiday shopping as COVID continues to impact supply chain

We are 106 days away from Christmas, but if you think that’s enough time to get your shopping done, think again.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

While it may be too early to start playing Christmas music and decorating the house, according to experts, it is time to start shopping. 

This year might be a challenge due to delivery delays and supply shortages. If you don’t you could face the same nightmare of last year.

"This holiday season it could be almost as what it was last year so they should not procrastinate," said Satish Jindel, President of ShipMatrix. 

If you didn’t already know, COVID-19 is choking the supply chain for some of your favorite products from getting to stores.

MORE FROM FOX 5: Do you smell fall in the air? Here's why.

"Just backorders when you’re shopping online. Things are not in stock so you have to wait a period of time before you get the items," shopper Scan Grant said. 

The deadly delta variant is also hitting manufacturing plants across Asia causing another wave of lockdowns, closing factories and sending supply chains into crisis.

The kinks will cause us to see shipping issues, empty shelves, and bigger price tags on presents. Many think it could take until 2022 to get shipping issues sorted out. 

Everything from furniture to clothes to toys is being affected with waiting times extending out to a year for some products as imports face long delays. That’s why stores like Olive and Loom in Bethesda are buying extra goods now to prepare for the holiday rush.

MORE FROM FOX 5: President Biden visits DC middle school to talk COVID-19 vaccines, in-person learning

"We import a lot of our goods from Turkey, we manufacture our own goods so we have to deal with supply chain issues from that and buyer perspective and we do e-commerce and ship to customers, so last year was very tough because we couldn’t bring our goods in time and distribute it fast enough, especially as Christmas was approaching," said Ferzan Jaeger, owner of Olive and Loom. "People would buy gifts to ship to their families and friends and it would get way past Christmas."

They're not the only store trying to stock up and prepare for the upcoming season. 

"We’re trying to prepare now for when that comes. We know when Black Friday comes – it’s going to be really hectic," said Jalen Davis, who works at Tanger Outlets. 

MORE FROM FOX 5: Montgomery County leaders address quarantine issues in schools

Stores are warning customers to shop early and send gifts early to avoid disappointment. Many shoppers agree. 

"I don’t think it’s too early because it was crazy for me last year trying to get it done around Christmas and you might not be able to find good stuff anymore," said Tamar Graham, who was out at Tanger Outlets. 

 The postal service is also working on filling 40,000 seasonal positions and working on installing new processing equipment.