LOS ANGELES – With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, Nintendo officials urge customers to do their Christmas and holiday shopping early due to the global supply chain crisis.
"In general, my recommendation for folks is, if you see one, pick it up," said David Young, assistant manager of public relations at Nintendo of America, in an interview with Spectrum News. "Put it away for the holidays. Get your hands on them right now."
Young was referring to Nintendo's Switch video game console and video games like Pokemon, Super Mario Bros, and Legend of Zelda, which are sure to be popular gifts this holiday season again — if they are on store shelves.
Retail experts have advised people to do their Christmas and holiday shopping earlier than usual because of the growing supply chain issue, so their loved ones don't get left with coal in their stockings. After being shut out last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, many families plan to gather this holiday season since vaccination rates are up.
To beat the rush, some shoppers began shopping for gifts last month.
Like many companies, Nintendo, a major Japanese video game company, is not immune to the global supply chain and shipping disruption happening at ports worldwide. It is one of several unintended consequences born out of the worldwide lockdowns of countries and business and manufacturing shutdowns for extended periods due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With business and manufacturing picking up along the Pacific coast of Long Beach, Los Angeles and in the major ports across the U.S., thousands of ships are waiting to unload goods.
Meanwhile, a combination of rising shipping and transportation costs, along with a shortage of dockworkers, shipping containers, drivers and trucks to take those items to their retail destinations are leading to delays and disrupting the once timely supply chain ecosystem.
Nintendo is facing several supply chain issues. The Associated Press reported this month that Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa lowered the sale forecast of Switch systems by 1.5 million units to 24 million through March due to the lack of computer chips needed to make the video game console. The shortage of chips is also hampering Nintendo's efforts to produce its next-generation video game console.
Nintendo gaming systems and games that have been made are slowly going through the gridlock and congestion at the ports.
"Nintendo is taking great care across our entire supply chain," said Young. "We're doing everything we can for these Nintendo Switch systems to arrive on store shelves. We're working up and down to deliver those systems in stores. We're hoping that everyone that wants a Nintendo Switch system will get one."
Despite the supply chain constraints, Young said Nintendo had done well throughout the pandemic.
Last year, with lockdowns in place and many people staying home, sales of Nintendo Switch systems, games and other products hit record sales.
These weren't just the hardcore gamers buying Nintendo products. They found that more women gamers and families were getting into gaming, Young said.
"There's an evolution of buyers," he said.
Though current quarterly numbers are down, which was expected after a record year, Nintendo sales should continue to be strong this holiday season.
This year, the company has set up a dedicated Nintendo holiday website where consumers can buy Switch system bundles and games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Super Mario Maker 2 at a discount.
Young said with so much uncertainty regarding the supply chain, consumers should shop early.
"We are working hard to get the systems into the market," he said. "Again, if you want a Switch system for this holiday season and you see one, I recommend you buy it right away."