By Christina Fan

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Global supply chain delays might prove to be the biggest Grinch this holiday season.

Stores are urging people to begin shopping now to avoid delays, and some are taking that advice.

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We’re not even past Halloween, yet retailers are already warning customers about holiday gift shortages. They say the threat of supply chain bottlenecks is no trick.

“This year, it’s true, you really should start shopping now if you can,” said Liz Pollack, of the Cross County Center in Yonkers.

Clogged ports, labor shortages and higher demand are impacting shipments of toys, electronics, apparel and more.

At Cross County Shopping Center, some shoppers are already struggling to find what they need.

“We were looking for TVs and Xboxes and PlayStation, and we know that the shipment was delayed because of a lot that’s happening with the ships,” Bronx resident Chantel Jackson said.

At Womrath Bookshop in Bronxville, owner Morin Bishop is heeding advice to order early. His publishers warned him backlogs at printing plants could cause delays later on.

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“They’re less confident that they’re going to be able to refill orders, particularly on popular books. So I’m being encouraged by them to make larger orders up-front so as to avoid running out of copy later in the fall season,” he told CBS2’s Christina Fan.

According to an Oracle retail study, 52% of Americans have already started holiday shopping or plan to start earlier than usual, and 20% plan to order more gifts in case some are delayed or canceled.

Some are avoiding the anxiety altogether.

“I’ll probably be giving more cash and gift cards,” Westchester resident Lucille Folden said.

“To avoid dealing with the whole hassle?” Fan asked.

“Absolutely,” Folden said.

Experts say not only should you shop early, but also shop in store to avoid shipping delays.

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Also, sign up for retailer emails to learn what deals are coming ahead of time.

Christina Fan