Plan Ahead: Delays, Shortages Affect Employee Gifts

Friday, 01. October 2021 00:40

IRVING, Texas, Sept. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The decision to give an employee a gift can be an easy one, but getting it to them is likely to be more difficult this season. Labor shortages, delays at U.S. ports and the rise in demand for the upcoming holiday season have created a perfect storm of logistical issues. 
Many people are aware that this shortage affects the ability to get ahold of everyday items, such as an appliance for the home or a gift for their child, but it also has a major impact on employee gifting. This unprecedented situation in the supply chain is causing significant delays and, in many cases, an inability to meet demand. 
“Corporate leaders should place their employee gift orders now if they want their staff to receive them by the end of this year,” says Dale Denham, MAS+, president and CEO of Promotional Products Association International. “At this point, most businesses will not be able to get their first choice for an employee gift as inventory is already depleted and logistical issues are preventing inventory replenishment.”
Last year, promotional products companies delivered millions of gifts to employees directly to their homes. Inventory was an issue last year on standard items like blankets, and also on hot items, such as popcorn makers, but this year brings forth far more challenges for corporate gift buyers. Labor shortages to decorate and pack gifts are adding to inventory issues, creating delays in getting items to the intended recipients. Additionally, transit times from FedEx and UPS are increasing, further complicating the ability to deliver employee gifts.
“We began seeing orders for holiday gifts in July,” says Denham. “Order now, because even if there is inventory available, the production times could be extremely long. In years past, you could order as late as December 10 and likely still get a few items by December 25. This year, the longer you wait, the less chance you have of receiving the items—especially if you need them shipped to multiple locations.”
Think of it like Christmas in October; it is never too early to start planning, but it may already be too late. However, whether you’ve missed your window for this year or not, promotional product gifting should remain on your radar year-round as an effective branding tool that your employees will love, keep, and thank you for. 

About PPAI

Founded in 1903, Promotional Products Association International (PPAI®; is the world’s largest and oldest not-for-profit association serving more than 14,000 corporate members of the $19.6 billion promotional products industry, which is comprised of more than 40,500 businesses and a workforce of more than 500,000 professionals. PPAI represents the industry in Washington, D.C. and advocates on its behalf. PPAI operates The PPAI Expo®, the industry’s largest trade show; provides the leading promotional products safety and compliance program; offers a prestigious professional development and certification program; and publishes industry trade journals and periodicals. The multibillion-dollar industry includes wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @PPAI_HQ, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Jessica Smith
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