Inventory shortages plagued shoppers in the United States during last year's holiday season, according to a study conducted by the software vendor Aldata. The company surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. in-store shoppers after the holidays.
Nearly one-third (31 percent) of the shoppers surveyed said they found empty shelves during the 2011 holiday period. Forty-seven percent of respondents said that when they found a product was out of stock they went to a competitor's store.
Grocery stores were most likely to experience out-of-stocks between Thanksgiving and New Year's, when 40 percent of grocery shoppers said they were unable to find the product they were looking for. Thirty-eight percent of those shoppers went to another store to find what they needed.
A slightly smaller number of shoppers—39 percent—did not find the toys, games, apparel, or footwear they wanted, while only 30 percent said that a consumer electronics item they were seeking was not available.