Speaking on This Morning today to mark 100 days until Christmas, Geoff Sheffield, chief commercial officer of The Entertainer, urged parents to be prepared to avoid disappointment
Parents are being urged to start buying toys for Christmas now as stores continue to struggle against supply chain issues.
Toy shops across the UK have been issuing warnings about the possibility of a limited supply in stock by the time December 25 arrives.
Speaking on This Morning today to mark 100 days until Christmas, Geoff Sheffield, chief commercial officer of The Entertainer, urged parents to be prepared to avoid disappointment.
He explained how the supply chain problems are being caused by a range of issues, including a lack of shipping containers from Asia and the on-going HGV driver shortage.
Demand for shipping containers started soaring at the start of the pandemic, due to the need of PPE equipment around the world, explained Mr Sheffield.
ITV – This Morning)
“Since then, we’ve never been able to replace that, those number of containers, so there’s been a shortage,” he said.
“Combine that with lockdowns in ports because of Covid outbreaks, lockdowns in factories because of Covid, the demand not subsiding since lockdown.
“Consumer demand continues to be high within the toy industry and as a result, the demand on those space on ships has not subsided.
“Therefore, we’re seeing delays and ever increasing costs on getting costs on the water to the UK in good time.”
Mr Sheffield said the other challenge facing retailers is the shortage of HGV drivers, which means shops are struggling to push out any goods that do arrive.
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ITV – This Morning)
The lack of lorry drivers is being caused by a combination of coronavirus restrictions and backlogs of tests, along with Brexit.
Many haulage companies say thousands of drivers have simply decided not to return to the UK after the Brexit transition was completed.
In a warning to parents, Mr Sheffield said: “The reason why we’re talking to you today is to make sure our customers at The Entertainer, who we love and have been welcoming back since stores reopened, understand [to] plan early and if you see it, buy it.
“The reality is, we’re running out of days to get things onto the water and in time to the UK.”
He added: “My advice definitely is to get out early. The sort of things that you would expect to be popular have been popular all year. Things like Barbie, L.O.L.
“Then you need to look at some of the movie content we’ve had recently, the Paw Patrol movie that is doing really well.”
It isn’t just toys that retailers fear could be in short supply this Christmas.
There are fears turkey, gammon and pig in blankets could be off the dinner table, while the boss of Iceland has warned how supply shortages could “cancel” Christmas.
However, Tesco chief John Allan has urged shoppers not to panic-buy.
“There may be some shortages”, but people should not “over-dramatise” and panic-buy, he told the BBC.
“It’s very easy to make a drama out of a modest crisis,” Mr Allan added.