Why You need To Buy Early For Christmas!

We've all heard the stories of last-minute Christmas shoppers ending up with something from the local garage to gift - eek! But this year the moral of the story has never been more true. This week, the papers have featured articles about buying toys for Christmas early, as they'll be in short supply and we have to say we encourage you to do this across the board with your gifts, because it is not just the toy industry that is affected. This year there will be stock shortages and price rises without question in every area of retail.

A perfect storm of Brexit and Coronovirus globally, in addition to environmental factors such as a typhoon in China in July, has meant that factories producing goods and shipping is still in disarray.

Much like last year, shipping containers are not available and the costs having spiralled from £3,000 per container to £20,000. Production of shipping containers themselves is down and many of those available are piling up in the wrong places.

Factories have been forced to down tools as Coronavirus swept through many of the main manufacturing areas. In addition to the shipping difficulties, retailers are facing a shortage of lorry drivers when goods arrive in the UK.

This convergence of major issues has forced the vast majority of suppliers to increase their prices, especially for cheaper products and whilst everyone in the supply chain tries to absorb a share of the cost, it is inevitable that the retail price of products will increase. So even if you aren't concerned about scarcity nearer Christmas, there is a good chance the price of items on your wish-list will have increased over the Autumn.

They'll be a lot more hunting around for things this year as stock is in short supply. Like many others we are trying to stock pile supplies, but there simply isn't room to store all the stock we need to cover the last two quarters. Whereas in previous years, consumers may have waited to buy until everything they want from a retailer is available to buy at once and all the Christmas stock has arrived, this won't be possible this year. The advice from seasoned industry leaders is if you see it, buy it - or risk frustration, disappointment and time wasted trying to source it later. 

Industry insiders have warned that this is not a blip and it will take at least another year to get shipping back on an even keel. And that is assuming no further set-backs from Coronovirus variants, the weather, or ships getting stranded in the Suez Canal and the like. Everything that could go adversely for retailers this year has done so!

In a normal year we could see what is selling well for Christmas and get a second bite at the stock 'cherry' placing additional orders to replenish stock nearer to Christmas - but not so this year. Available stock is being rationed out by suppliers amongst their retail customers, to ensure everyone gets something, but very few will receive the full quota of stock they have ordered for the festive period.

Retailers are scrambling to get stock in before October when the brunt of the issues will start to be felt and small independent retailers like us are having an even harder time of it as we don't have the financial clout or space of the bigger outfits.

So please don't leave your your Christmas shopping to November and December this year. The best stock will simply have gone by October and cannot be replaced in time for Christmas. We should have all our Christmas lines available to buy from mid September, sign up to our emails to be the first to know when new products are available. And please, where you can, support small independent businesses - where your pounds make a much bigger difference and have such a positive impact on real family lives. So grab a cup of tea and start writing that Naughty & Nice list!

August 17, 2021 — Katharine Thorley
Tags: christmas