Retailers across the UK have warned that, due to a combination of increased demand, supply complications and Covid-19 restrictions, many popular toys will be scarce this Christmas time.
The Toy Retailers Association issued a warning, urging parents, carers and grandparents to plan ahead and not leave their Christmas shopping “to the final weeks of the year.”
Limited availability of stock
Gary Grant, the chair of the DreamToys selection committee, warned of the difficulties of getting hold of some of the most wanted toys by December, saying, “[Toy retailers] are starting to see significantly more shortages of toys now than we have seen in a decade.”
Some of the toys expected to be the most popular this festive season include the Barbie 3-in-1 DreamCamper, Monopoly for Sore Losers and a Peppa Pig Shopping Centre.
In early October, James Owen, of Rebo UK Ltd, warned that coronavirus-inspired panic buying will lead to a dramatic shortage of children’s toys before Christmas.
He told The Mirror that shoppers should order in good time to avoid disappointment, but said parents should not get carried away.
Lockdown boost in sales
Statistics from NPD show how, throughout lockdown, toy sales didn’t halt. Data revealed an increase of six per cent in toy sales in the first nine months of 2020, while games and puzzles have seen an increase of 32 per cent.
A survey conducted by the Toy Retailers Association of 2,000 parents also showed 56 per cent of partners have spent more time playing with their children since lockdown and 88 per cent felt toys had helped them bond more closely with their children.