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Are you doing your back-to-school shopping already? You might want to start now

That microchip shortage is slowing the supply chain, and you might find some things in stock and have to wait for others.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A consumer alert on back-to-school shopping!  Have you started yet? If not, you might want to get going.

People really want to believe that everything is “back to normal”. It’s a positive outlook for sure, but not 100% accurate. The COVID-19 shutdown was fast, within days for some, but the reopening has taken longer, and supply lines are not up to full speeds.

Summer goes way too fast, ask any kid, ask any parent. No one wants to think about back going to school, not in July anyway. But, you better start getting in that mode.

“Back to school shopping is my jam, so I just got it done,” said Kim Campbell, who is a mom of three school-age boys, a PTA member, and a room mom. 

Campbell needs to stay organized and on top of it. In fact, this overachiever is all done with her school shopping.

Credit: Bill McGinty

“And I don’t want to do this the week before school starts when the stores and aisles are packed with people,” she said.

RELATED: Back-to-school shopping traditions resume as students return to face-to-face learning

Parents like Kim have an edge this year because supplies are in short supply. 

WCNC Charlotte's Bill McGinty took these photos at a local big box store. Some items aplenty, others not so much.  Backpacks are scarce, but crayons, pencils, and markers were abundant.

Credit: Bill McGinty

“For family shopping, the earlier the better,” said Kristin McGrath, who is an editor with Retail-Me-Not.com

Certain things this year are in short supply because of the microchip shortage caused by supply line shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Little inventory on some things and longer waits for shipping will be happening this year.

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“These supply chain issues and chip shortages are affecting the consumer electronic market in a big way, and these days, laptops and tablets are topping back to school lists,” said McGrath.

If you need anything tech, look for it and order now. Clothing likewise might be limited in inventory and sizes, so look and order now.

This chip shortage is going to follow us into the fall and experts say we might not see a return to normal supply chains, until 2022.

Contact Bill McGinty at bmcginty@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook. 

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