The 2021-2022 NHL season is here, with 32 teams battling it out on the ice for a chance to play for the 2022 Stanley Cup. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the current Stanley Cup champions and will be looking to repeat. Vegas oddsmakers have the Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Las Vegas Golden Knights as top Cup contenders as well.

The California Retailers Association President warned consumers to shop early this holiday season due to supply chain bottlenecks.

“Shop early. If you’ve got certain gifts in mind…I would definitely purchase them early and have some patience,” California Retailers Association (CRA) President Rachel Michelin told Fox News.

WATCH: ‘Shop early,’ California Retailers Association President warns holiday shoppers amid supply chain crisisVideo
Cargo ships stuck at California ports have contributed to a supply chain crisis nationwide. Trucking and warehouse shortages, as well as pandemic-induced e-commerce shopping sprees, have all fueled the crisis.

“The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach account for 40% of the imports nationwide, so this is the gateway for many national retailers,” Michelin explained. “While it’s focused on California, this is national problem.”

Shipping containers are stacked over a truck at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Los Angeles.
Shipping containers are stacked over a truck at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Michelin explained that because ships stuck in California ports have merchandise meant for retail stores, the retail industry has had to adapt.

“We’re trying to do everything we can from the retail industry,” Michelin explained. “We have products coming out that might have been there from last year.” Additionally, some bigger retailers are using their own chartered planes and smaller ships to get merchandise, and the California Retailers Association is “working with the Port of Los Angeles to try to move cargo as quickly as possible,” she said.

Shipping containers are stacked at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Los Angeles.
Shipping containers are stacked at the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Los Angeles. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Beyond shopping early and having patience, Michelin also recommended consumers shop at small businesses this holiday season.

“Anything you can do to support local businesses and small businesses this holiday season I think is really important,” the CRA president said.

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