Irish Christmas shoppers given warning ahead of potential delay issues and skyrocketing shipping costs

By Colin Brennan

Irish Christmas shoppers have been given a warning ahead of potential issues such as supply problems and shipping costs skyrocketing.

It may be only September, but Irish ­parents are being urged to buy Christmas gifts early due to supply problems.­

Parents have been advised to buy popular toys early due to rising shipping costs and a supply chain crunch.

Some of the largest toy and home furnishing companies in the country have said that they are experiencing delays ahead of the festive period.

Shoppers are encouraged to buy products early this year.

IKEA Ireland has warned of supply chain problems that are affecting the delivery of some products at its Irish stores, with up to 10 per cent of goods unavailable.

Members of the public Christmas shopping on Grafton Street, Dublin (Gareth Chaney/Collins)

The furniture giant said the delivery issues were caused in part by the Covid-19 pandemic and labour shortages.

They are seeing higher customer demand as more people are spending more time in their homes in Ireland.

This has caused some low availability in some IKEA product ranges with around 10% unavailable.

An IKEA Ireland spokesperson told the Irish Mirror: "Like many retailers, we are experiencing ongoing challenges with our supply chains due to COVID-19 and labour shortages, with transport, raw materials and sourcing all impacted.

"In addition, we are seeing higher customer demand as more people are spending more time at home.

“As a result, we are experiencing low availability in some of our ranges with approximately 10% unavailable. We hope this will reduce as the situation improves in the coming weeks and months.

Get Xmas shopping now as Covid hits toy supplies (Getty Images)

"Going forward, we’re constantly looking for more opportunities to secure product availability for our customers and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Penneys' owners are still waiting on the delivery of some autumn and winter stock due to freight and port disruptions.

A Penneys spokeswoman told the Irish Mirror: "We are experiencing some delays to the handover of some autumn/winter inventory caused by port and container freight disruptions.

"These delays are expected to reduce the inventory at the year end by some £200m compared to expectation with a corresponding increase in cash on hand."

Smyths Toys Ireland says it is always a good practice to shop early but this year in particular people should do it because shipping and container shortages are causing supply issues.

There have been warnings that the problems this Christmas could be worse than the Suez blockage in March this year, when a container ship was stuck across the canal for six days and caused huge hold-ups.

When do you start Christmas shopping? Join the discussion in the comment section

This Christmas, it is predicted that the best-selling toys this year will include PAW Patrol, with demand expected to fuelled by a new movie based on the TV series which came out in the summer.

(Publicity Picture)

Other ranges forecast to be in demand include Coco Melon, Super Mario, Barbie and Bluey.

The impact of these delays worldwide has already fed through to higher freight costs from the Far East.

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