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Holiday decorations could be in even higher demand this year

August 17, 2021, 10:15 PM UTC

Americans snatched up yard decorations from Halloween through Christmas last year—and early signs show they’re just as eager to do so again in 2021.

Home Depot on Tuesday said an early release of its Halloween decorations sold out “almost immediately.” More spooky inflatables, gravestone markers, and maybe even the hit $300 12-foot skeleton will hit stores in the coming weeks, but that enthusiasm could be a canary in the coal mine as far as people looking to deck the halls later this year.

Many retailers ordered extra holiday decorations last year but found themselves unable to keep up with demand. Americans embraced decorating as a way to distract themselves from the weariness of stay-at-home orders. Couple that ongoing enthusiasm with shipping issues that could impact inventories as the holidays draw near, and it could be even harder for people to find decorations in the coming months.

This latest round of decorative exuberance could get a boost as the Delta variant of COVID-19 surges throughout the country, and more and more companies push back their return-to-office dates. That could be good news not just for Home Depot but other retailers, including Walmart and Target.

Holiday decorating enthusiasm isn’t helping the company’s stock, though. Home Depot shares were down 5% in midday trading Tuesday, following the company’s quarterly earnings announcement. Officials said the number of shoppers was down in the second quarter and refused to provide a full-year outlook. Quarterly profit and revenue topped Wall Street estimates, but same-store sales were slightly below expectations, as people resumed activities outside of the home.

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