There’s going to be a shortage of toys this Christmas – so says BBC Breakfast today.
Well for the must-have, toy-of-the-year Barbie Roller Girl or Transformers Movie Leader type of toy that may very well be true. The big distributors have to place their orders in the Far East many months before Christmas, and at the beginning of this year with all the doom and gloom there was it was not surprising that many importers were cautious. Bear in mind too that the face of toy retailing on the High Street was changing hugely at that time with the demise of Woolworth and no obvious replacement for them, the largest toy retailer in Britain. So if the big boys scaled back the numbers then there will of course be a limited supply of some toys.
Yet I seem to remember similar scare stories in the past. I did a quick search on the BBC website and they still have a story from 2003 saying how there would be a toy shortage that Christmas because of SARS – the reason being that few toy buyers would dare to go to China for fear of catching the then dreaded disease. There’s always a reason to try to encourage early buying and that was that year’s.
Here at Mulberry Bush 2009 has been a harder year for obtaining stock but largely we have or will have more than enough of most of our products to see us through to Christmas. There are a small number of products where we have been let down and just can’t get more of, but there is always one or two each year. If you offer well over 500 products there’s bound to be a few that don’t materialise as expected. But we work closely with our suppliers in the summer each year to ensure that they know how many of what we will need, and when. And because we sell Traditional Toys we don’t mind if we do have some stock left after Christmas because birthdays happen all year round and most of our toys are old favourites.
There is one very good reason to shop early for Christmas though which is that the late surge of orders we see every year does mean real pressure to despatch those later orders in time to arrive before the big day. Christmas shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone – it happens every year on December 25th – so to be sure to avoid your own toy shortage please, please do get your order in early !