Consumers looking for some nice warm socks for Dad this Christmas will find their choices limited. Wigwam Mills, a quintessential American company that’s been knitting hosiery in Wisconsin for more than a century, had to shut down its operation last year due to pandemic work restrictions.
New management has the mill back in operation but good luck finding a pair of its iconic 625 wool blend sock, a bestseller for more than half a century. You can find the product page on many retail sites, but with the notice that the 625 “is expected to be out of stock through early 2022.”
The same is true at L.L. Bean, whose trademark wool ragg sock is also unavailable as of this writing.
Take a drive along your local “auto row” of car dealers and you’ll notice something unusual: lots of empty spots where rows and rows of shiny new vehicles used to be the norm. Chip shortages caused by pandemic shutdowns have forced makers like Toyota to slash production.
U.S. retailers face one of the most challenging holiday seasons in years.