As the shopping frenzy of Black Friday and the Christmas season looms, toy stores are pulling out all the stops to ensure that Covid-related global supply chain constraints don’t affect end-of-year toy cheer.
With containerisation lag and spiralling ocean freight rates being what they are at the moment, the Shoprite Group has secured its inventory well in advance. According to Business Insider, the retailer has secured 45% more stock than last year. It’s not the only major stockist that has taken early action to avoid a “toycastrophe”, so named by the news site’s associate editor, Phillip de Wet.
Reporter Ntando Thukwana quotes Shoprite saying: “The group’s supermarkets will be fully stocked as it ordered well in advance, avoiding the current situation where skyrocketing container prices are impacting toy prices and availability.” It’s also not the only supplier of toys that didn’t play around with planning ahead.
Specialist retailer Toys R Us said it had got on top of its game early on to ensure that a seasonal stock shortfall was avoided. Most of their year-end goods were in store already, marketing manager Catherine Jacoby said, with outstanding orders expected soon.
She told Thukwana: “We have had some delays on certain products due to electricity supply in the East as well as a shortage of containers from China and bookings on active shipping lines impacting delivery to our stores. However, we are happy to report that these products will hit the shelves in mid-November and early December prior to the festive season rush.”