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Costco May Have a Shortage of This Holiday Staple at All Stores

Other retail stores are going to be impacted, too.

Preparing for your family's holiday feast may be a little bit more difficult this year due to shortages of apples, turkeys, and more seasonal staples. Now, we're learning of a nationwide shortage of Christmas trees, which is impacting Costco and other retailers.

Related: Price Hikes Are Making This Grocery Store Food Soar In Popularity

Whether live or artificial, millions of Americans traditionally decorate their homes with Christmas trees in honor of the season. However, you have to find a new way to mark the holidays this year. The American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) is alerting consumers not only of reduced supplies but also of higher price tags.

"Costco, and all retailers, will be impacted by the reduced tree supply this season," the ACTA told Fox Business in a statement. "We anticipate that most retailers that typically sell both live and artificial trees will continue to do so, although they will have limited supply compared to past years."

But what, exactly, is causing the shortages? The ACTA previously cited extreme weather in the Pacific Northwest after "some Oregon farmers reporting losing up to 90% of their crop this summer." Moreover, the supply chain remains strained at all levels from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Costco holiday

Here's what Jami Warner, executive director of the ACTA, said in a statement on the organization's website back in September:

"Every year, we pay close attention to factors impacting the Christmas tree industry so that we can help guide consumers in choosing the right Christmas tree . . . In 2021, we're seeing a variety of trends influencing artificial and live Christmas tree supply across the country, and are encouraging consumers to find their tree early this year to avoid shortage impacts."

Luckily, you can likely find an artificial tree right now if you head over to your local Costco warehouse. Instagram user @costcohotfinds recently spotted two options for $569.99 and $899.99. In the comments of their video post, members bemoaned sky-high prices so far ahead of the holiday season.

Others noted that artificial trees were investments because they can be reused for many years to come. If this sounds like a jolly good plan, consider skipping Halloween decorations in favor of scooping up a tree ASAP.

In addition to Costco, Eat This, Not That! reached out to America's largest retail chain, Walmart, and America's largest grocery store chain, Kroger, to ask how the tree shortages would impact their customers.

Costco management declined our request for comment, but Ken McClure, Kroger's regional director, told us that "Kroger does not expect to experience a shortage of Christmas trees or related products this year. As in previous years we will offer both standard-height trees and our popular table-top trees at many of our locations." He adds that "As with any holiday shopping experience, buying early is always recommended!"

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda