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Today in Retail: Amazon Adds New Gifting Tool; Chip Shortage Drags Down Auto Sales

In today’s top retail news, Amazon is making it easier for shoppers to give gifts without knowing the recipient’s address, and the months-long semiconductor chip shortage continues to hurt motor vehicle sales. Also, gasoline delivery could be the next service to join the on-demand economy, and Dollar Tree’s price increases may suggest that retailers’ supply chain issues could stick around for a while longer.

Amazon Adds Address-Free Gifting Feature Ahead of Holidays

Amazon has introduced a new feature that allows Prime subscribers in the U.S. to send gifts without knowing the recipient’s address, allowing shoppers to rely on mobile phone numbers or email addresses to help with delivery. Instead of choosing the delivery address, senders can send a gift message by email or text that allows someone to accept the gift and add their own preferred delivery address.

Semiconductor Chip Shortage Limits Auto Sales in Q3

New vehicle sales dropped in the third quarter due to ongoing supply chain issues and a shortage of semiconductor chips, with General Motors dropping a third and Stellantis sales dropping 19% compared to the same quarter last year. Toyota Motor sales inched up 1.4% in the quarter, but its September sales slipped 22%. Automakers attributed the declines to supply chain issues and the chip shortage that has been plaguing the industry for more than a year.

Gasoline Delivery Looks to Join Takeout Food, Groceries in Growing on-Demand Economy

Mike McConnell, CEO of mobile fuel company EzFill, said that even as buying groceries, shopping and transportation have transitioned to an on-demand format, putting gas in the car has lagged behind despite similarly being an activity that consumers do every day. McConnell told PYMNTS, though, that he expects retail fueling to be the next big consumable domino to fall, especially as real estate prices continue to rise, and cities look at other uses for sites.

Dollar Tree Increases Price Point Due to Prolonged Supply Chain Issues

Dollar Tree’s announcement that it will begin rolling out price points above $1 in its stores has been interpreted by some as an indication that the buck isn’t strong enough to combat the discount retailer’s supply and labor issues. Analysts have said the increased prices also have broad significance beyond the discount retail industry as they signal how intense the pressures of higher wages and unreliable supply lines are on retailers.

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